DeRosa to make spring debut Monday
Slowed by irregular heartbeat, second baseman eager to play
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mark DeRosa can't wait to get in a game.
The Cubs second baseman is expected to make his Cactus League debut Monday, when the team travels to Maryvale to face the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I feel fine," DeRosa said Sunday. "I'm ready to be one of the guys again."
He's been slowed this spring because of an irregular heartbeat that required the second baseman to fly to Chicago to undergo a radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA). DeRosa, who turned 33 on Feb. 26, was first diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat when he was a teen, and told the Cubs medical staff that it has been occurring with increasing frequency.
He rejoined the team one week ago but has not been allowed to play any games to give his leg time to heal, and make sure he could move laterally. Part of the procedure involved inserting a catheter into his leg in the groin area.
"I don't see it being a problem anymore," he said. "I don't see any reason to prolong it. We've listened to the doctors, and Lou [Piniella] and the coaches have listened to the team doctors and the surgeon. I feel good."
Last spring, DeRosa was sidelined because of the flu. He'd like to be normal for a change.
"It's disappointing," he said. "I'm excited to get back in there knowing I don't have to worry about [his heart] anymore. That's the exciting part. My two Spring Trainings here have left a lot to be desired. Every time I come to Mesa, I either get the flu or have heart surgery, or I don't know what.
"I'd like to be one of the guys, and go on the road trips they go on and stay back when they stay back and not have to go through one of these things."
However, an irregular heartbeat isn't a normal baseball injury.
"Yeah -- it's not like I keep tweaking a hamstring or anything," he said.
He still has some voice mails to return. Anyone who hasn't heard from DeRosa by now should know he's doing well, and appreciates the calls. He's eager to focus on baseball.
"I can't wait," he said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.