SAN FRANCISCO -- Nori Aoki said he felt good two days after being hit in the head by a pitch, even joking that his concussion tests had been so extensive that they gave him a concussion.
So the Giants’ left fielder was as surprised as anyone when he began to have concussion symptoms again Wednesday, causing him to exit the Giants’ win after four innings, and eventually landing him on the disabled list.
The Giants placed Aoki on the 7-day concussion DL prior to their series opener against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, recalling outfielder Ryan Lollis from Triple-A Sacramento to take his roster spot. Justin Maxwell was starting in left field and likely will get the majority of playing time there in Aoki’s absence.
"We checked him out today, evaluated him, and he’s still showing symptoms, so pretty easy decision at this point," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He needs a little bit of time."
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Aoki said he felt "OK" as of Thursday afternoon, but that he’d been experiencing nausea, difficulty focusing and general weakness. He said those symptoms came about gradually on Wednesday, even though he had already passed a battery of concussion tests and been cleared to play Tuesday.
"I was surprised a little bit, this being my first experience with this," Aoki said through interpreter Kosuke Inaji. "I’ve gotten hit in the head in the past, but at that time I didn’t feel anything afterward. This time I started feeling something a few days later."
The Giants dealt with their share of recent concussions to Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco and Hector Sanchez. While it was unclear whether Aoki had actually been diagnosed with a concussion or was just exhibiting systems, Bochy said the Giants wanted to "lean on the side of caution" and give Aoki the seven-day DL stint to try to recover. Bochy said he’s "hopeful" Aoki will be ready to return after a week.
"He’s feeling better today, and if he comes in and feels good tomorrow, he’ll start doing some activities," Bochy said. "We’ll find out, I think, pretty soon, start putting him on the bike and exercising and see how he responds. We had the one with Belt that came back, but there’s no reason to think that (Aoki) won’t be ready in seven days."
Bochy said Lollis will be used in a bench role and may get a start or two.
* Bochy shuffled his lineup for Thursday’s game, moving Belt to the third spot between Matt Duffy and Buster Posey. Bochy said he "wasn’t real excited" about Wednesday’s lineup, in which left-handers Belt and Brandon Crawford were hitting back-to-back, and that this iteration "breaks up the lefties, gives us a little more balance, makes it a little tougher on the opposing team’s bullpen."
The full Giants lineup against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg:
And the Nationals’ lineup against Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong:
* Tim Hudson will make a rehab appearance for High-A Stockton on Friday and throw two innings. Bochy said the right-hander will treat the outing like a relief appearance, throwing out of the stretch the entire time.
"If that’s what we need, that’s what he’ll prepare for," Bochy said.
Hudson already knows his rotation spot is gone to trade deadline acquisition Mike Leake and has said he’s willing to pitch out of the bullpen if needed. Bochy said he thinks the 40-year-old Hudson is capable of making the transition if needed.
* Leake threw a bullpen session Thursday with no setbacks to his hamstring and remains on track to start Tuesday in St. Louis. That would move Vogelsong back to the bullpen.