Feliciano has non-threatening hole in exterior of heart

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano has been diagnosed with a non-threatening hole in the exterior of his heart, a condition that he said has caused an irregular heartbeat.

"They said everything was fine, just there was a little hole outside my heart," Feliciano said upon returning to Mets camp Saturday. "I've never felt [anything] with my heart, so it's weird."

Feliciano flew to New York for an examination by team doctors Friday, after his routine pre-Spring Training physical revealed a non-orthopedic irregularity. The left-hander returned a day later and will wear a heart monitor this week as part of an additional battery of tests.

"It was kind of a surprise for me, after I worked out with rehab and Puerto Rican Winter Ball and everything, and now have this?" Feliciano said. "It's hard, but I'll be here."

The Mets would not reveal the specifics of Feliciano's condition.

"My understanding is he has a heart condition that could possibly be very serious," manager Terry Collins said. "That's why we're being very, very careful with him. Until we get further results on some of the tests they took in New York, he's not to be on the field."

A member of the Mets from 2002-04 and 2006-10, Feliciano returned to the club this winter on a Minor League deal worth $1 million, plus incentives, if he makes the team. He is one of a half-dozen lefties battling for jobs in the Mets' Opening Day bullpen.

Outfielder Jamie Hoffman, whose physical was also flagged due to a previous heart condition, has been cleared to play.