SAN DIEGO -- Padres second baseman Edgar Gonzalez could only do one thing as he collapsed on home plate, having been struck in the head by a 93-mph fastball on Saturday at PETCO Park. "I started praying right away, saying, 'Please don't let it happen,'" Gonzalez said. "Don't lose my memory. ... Let me be alive. Don't let something happen to my brain where I can't function. I didn't want anything to happen to my brain." The Padres placed Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list on Monday and recalled lefty pitcher Joe Thatcher from Triple-A Portland. In a move made on Sunday, the club also acquired infielder Oscar Salazar from Baltimore in exchange for right-handed reliever Cla Meredith.
Wearing a neck brace, Gonzalez visited with reporters and players around the Padres' clubhouse on Monday, a day after his release from Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. His brother, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left the game on Saturday to be by Edgar's side. The pitch, thrown by Rockies starter Jason Hammel, struck Gonzalez behind his left ear. Gonzalez immediately dropped to the ground and stayed there for more than five minutes before trainers carted him off the field. "I just saw the video for the first time. I didn't know I fell to the ground that fast," he said. "My wife was really scared, and I could see how she would get scared after seeing that." When asked to describe the pain at the moment of impact, Gonzalez winced. "I really felt my brain kind of move backwards," he said. "I feel like I didn't have a helmet on. I thought it had hit me straight because that's how much it hurt." Gonzalez, who did not lose consciousness, fully remembers the incident. When trainers rushed to the field, he was able to speak coherently and answer questions about his surroundings. Headaches have not been a problem during Gonzalez's recovery, but he has experienced hearing loss and vertigo. Gonzalez said his left-ear hearing capacity is at 80 percent, having improved from 60 percent on Sunday. The neck brace helps minimize neck movements that could aggravate vertigo symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. Gonzalez plans to stay at home and rest for the majority of the week, although he didn't rule out a trip to PETCO Park to watch his teammates.
Amy Brittain is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.