V-Mart faces cardiac surgery, season over

V-Mart faces cardiac surgery, season over

DETROIT -- Victor Martinez will undergo a heart procedure to address the irregular heartbeat that forced him out of action twice this summer.

The Tigers' designated hitter will have a cardiac ablation, a surgery that numbs or destroys tissue in the heart that might be causing an abnormal heart rhythm. Indians manager Terry Francona had a similar procedure in July after experiencing an irregular heartbeat.

"They go in and almost ... solder a bad part of [the] heart, kind of like deaden it," Francona said. "That's layman's terms, but that's how [doctors] explained it to me."

It's a fairly common procedure, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, and it shouldn't carry any long-term risks for Martinez. Francona said the effects are different for everybody, depending on the affected area in the heart and how large of an area is impacted.

Martinez will not return this season, but is expected to be ready for next spring, the final season on the four-year contract he signed after the 2014 season. At this point, retirement does not appear to be a consideration.

"He made no indication this would be the end of his baseball days," Ausmus said on Saturday.

The veteran went on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday after experiencing an accelerated heartbeat at the end of Saturday's game against the White Sox. He was hospitalized overnight in Chicago and returned to Detroit by car. He hasn't been spotted in the clubhouse since the team returned home on Friday.

Martinez has a history of heart issues in his family. His father passed away from a heart attack when he was very young. That gave Martinez particular concern when he first experienced an accelerated heart rate during a game in early June. He was hospitalized for a couple of days in that instance and had to wear a heart monitor for the next week.

Francona has known Martinez ever since he played for him in Boston in 2009 and '10.

"I don't think it matters [at] what point in your career when you start to talk about life, not just baseball," Francona said. "I'm sure he's getting extraordinary medical treatment. That's one of the really good things about [being] a Major League Baseball player. When things happen, you're in good hands. I'm sure Victor is, too."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.