The agent for Fernando Valenzuela said his client was surprised to find out about a possible health problem after signing with the California Angels.
The 30-year-old left-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with plans announced for further testing to determine why abnormal blood flow was detected in the area of his heart.The former Dodger was struggling in his comeback bid but was surprised when told of the results of a follow-up exam to his pre-signing physical with the Angels.
"Fernando feels nothing at all different," Tony De Marco said Thursday. "He was very surprised because he feels fine, but he agrees to go on the DL so they can make sure where those irregularities come from."
Angels spokesman Tim Mead said that a physical conducted two weeks ago found "possible cardiac changes" in Valenzuela.
Valenzuela was still signed to a one-year contract with an option for 1992. He started two games but lost both, giving up nine earned runs in less than seven innings.
The medical concerns galvanized Thursday when the left-hander underwent another test.
"The exam . . . showed an abnormal cardiogram," Mead said, adding further testing was to be done immediately.
De Marco said Valenzuela would not comment until he knew exactly what his condition was.
Valenzuela did not mention the results of the initial physical Wednesday after the Angels' 8-0 loss to Milwaukee, in which he allowed three walks, five hits and five runs in 12/3 innings.
"I'm feeling strong right now," Valenzuela said. "My arm feels good. I don't know what it is."
However, he went to St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange the next day to have a treadmill-thallium scan.
The radioactive element thallium was injected into Valenzuela's circulatory system to detect any blockages in the arteries supplying blood to his heart.
The Angels did not reveal details of what that test showed but the team immediately placed Valenzuela on the disabled list.
Valenzuela's contract guarantees him $300,000 but is worth up to $1 million with incentives.