DENVER -- One of the scant few endearing storylines from 2008 for the 99-loss Padres was the emergence of 30-year-old rookie Edgar Gonzalez, who made his Major League debut while stepping out from the shadow of his brother, Adrian Gonzalez.
This season hasn't gone nearly as well for Edgar Gonzalez, who hadn't played nearly as much with stability at shortstop (Everth Cabrera) and after missing 43 games in July and August with a concussion.
And then on Tuesday, after getting two hits earlier in the game and driving in three runs, Gonzalez suffered a subluxed left shoulder when he dove for a fly ball that resulted in an inside-the-park home run by Clint Barmes.
Gonzalez's shoulder, a preexisting condition where he has had the shoulder pop out and then pop back in, was feeling a little better on Wednesday, although he won't be able to play for a few days.
Yes, it's been that kind of season.
"It's been a tough year, but it's good for me in that I need to learn and understand that I have to get better," Edgar Gonzalez said. "It's not always how I want it to be."
Gonzalez said Wednesday that the toughest part of his season wasn't when he was hit in the head by a pitch by Colorado's Jason Hammel on July 18 or even the incident during Tuesday's game when he withered in pain after his shoulder hit the ground.
"The toughest part was getting used to not playing as much ... tougher than getting hit in the head," Gonzalez said. "That was tough for me to get used to. I started the year hitting a few balls hard and then I didn't play much.
"Then you look at your batting average ... and see it so low, and you know that you're a .290 hitter in the Minor Leagues. And last year I hit .270-something. But last year I was playing every day and it's easier to put up numbers that way."
Last season, Gonzalez was promoted from Triple-A Portland after playing nine seasons in the Minor Leagues. He played shortstop, second base, third base and even the outfield in a pinch. But with the addition of the rookie Cabrera, playing time has been scarce.
Edgar Gonzalez is hitting .219 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 151 at-bats. He had 325 at-bats last season, with seven home runs and 33 RBIs.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.