TAMPA, Fla. -- Jose Pirela was lying flat on his back in front of a hushed crowd, staring up at the blue Florida sky, and his thoughts were not with the game or the teammates who had clustered around him on the warning track.
"I tried to relax and stay positive, and I knew it was going to be all right," Pirela said Tuesday through an interpreter.
Pirela acknowledged that he had been frightened in the moments immediately following a hard collision with the center-field wall against the Mets on Sunday at Tradition Field, and said that he is still experiencing soreness in his neck and his entire back.
The Yanks' No. 25 prospect according to MLB.com, Pirela was diagnosed with a concussion, but he was relieved when a brain CT scan, and a neck and spine MRI all came back normal. He had an ImPACT concussion test on Tuesday, and there is no timetable for his return to the field.
"He saw a doctor today and we'll start introducing some exercise, building your heart rate up, and we'll see if the dizziness comes back," manager Joe Girardi said. "Hopefully, it doesn't."
Pirela had been playing well, batting 10-for-27 (.370) with two doubles and three triples, though the Yankees had indicated it was likely he would begin the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
This was the second concussion of Pirela's career; while playing for Double-A Trenton in April 2012, he was hit in the head by a pitch from right-hander Chris Martin, who was then in the Red Sox's farm system and is currently in camp with the Yankees.
Pirela said that it took him more than a month to feel normal after that beaning, enduring constant headaches and vomiting. He said that he is experiencing neither of those symptoms at this time, providing optimism that he can get back between the white lines soon.
"Nobody wants to go through something like this," Pirela said. "God has reasons for what happens. I'm just going to keep working on it, and hopefully everything comes out all right."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.