Mets' Feliciano to return with heart monitor
VIERA, Fla. -- Doctors have cleared Mets lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano to resume full baseball activities, though Feliciano will wear a heart monitor on the field.
Feliciano has been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called left ventricular noncompaction, according to a news release distributed by his agency.
"If his condition was serious, where the experts had determined for him not to play baseball anymore, I am sure he would not return to the mound," Feliciano's agent, Melvin Roman, said in a statement.
Feliciano said his condition will "not keep me up at night," while Mets manager Terry Collins said the simple fact that he is cleared to pitch is a great sign. The Mets plan to work Feliciano back into their pitching schedule as soon as he is ready, reestablishing him as a contender for a bullpen role.
The left-hander's absence from the first week of Grapefruit League games should not hurt his ability to make the team, with a full month of exhibitions remaining. But Feliciano still must beat out Robert Carson, Darin Gorski, Scott Rice and Aaron Laffey for what appears to be one open spot behind incumbent lefty reliever Josh Edgin.
A member of the Mets from 2002-04 and 2006-10, Feliciano set the franchise record for appearances with 92 in '10. He signed a two-year deal with the Yankees that offseason but never pitched for them, undergoing left shoulder surgery in early 2011. Feliciano signed a Minor League deal with the Mets this winter worth $1 million if he makes the big league club.