Pedro Feliciano was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called ventricular noncompaction last week. The veteran pitcher’s condition is the result of a genetic issue, which he has had since birth. Originally, the New York Mets planned to shut him down for two full weeks so they could monitor the condition until today, when Feliciano threw with a heart monitor on.
The 36-year-old left-hander, who has missed the last two seasons with an injured shoulder, re-signed with the Mets this offseason. The heart condition came as a surprise last week, but it does seem like it will effect the pitcher long term. Feliciano threw an inning today in a practice field game against some of the Miami Marlins’ reserves, and was reasonably effective throwing 11 of his 18 pitches for strikes.
Feliciano was the workhorse of the Mets’ bullpen when he was with the team in 2010, pitching in a MLB record 92 games, which some–including New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman–believe may have caused his shoulder injury. This offseason, he was brought in to improve the team’s horrific bullpen, which was one of the worst in the league last season. Although he has been a great reliever when healthy, it is too early to tell whether he will be close to as effective as he once was.
The Mets will continue to be cautious with Feliciano’s condition as Opening Day approaches. He claimed that the heart monitor that he wore did not affect his pitching motion and he will continue to wear it for the time being.