Bullpen coach Scott Radinsky recovering from heart surgery

Angels bullpen coach Scott Radinsky at spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Feb. 26 2016.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

There were no chest pains or palpitations, but bullpen coach Scott Radinsky knew something was wrong as he walked up the long flight of stairs from the Oakland Coliseum dugout to the Angels’ clubhouse after a 5-1 win over the A’s on April 13.

“I just felt weird,” Radinsky said Tuesday. “I sat down in my chair, and I didn’t feel right.”

Radinsky notified the team’s trainers, who summoned the A’s team doctor. The Angels flew to Minnesota that evening to continue a 10-game, three-city trip. Radinsky went to a local hospital.


Upon returning to Southern California, tests determined that two main arteries in his heart were blocked, the damage caused by the aggressive radiation treatments the former big league reliever underwent for Hodgkin’s disease in 1994.

A week after he fell ill in Oakland, Radinsky, 48, underwent triple-bypass surgery at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach on April 20.

“They basically sliced me open, grafted in a couple of arteries and felt that I’d be good for another 40 years,” Radinsky said.

How scary was the experience? “How scary would it be for you?” Radinsky said. “I mean, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to at my age.”

Radinsky, who played 11 seasons for the Chicago White Sox, Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and and Cleveland Indians from 1990-2001, said his his cholesterol and blood pressure were normal. He exercised and ate right.

“Everything was totally healthy,” he said. “When they told me [the two arteries] had been shut down for a decade and I probably should have keeled over at some point, I guess I’m lucky I didn’t.”


The first two weeks after surgery, Radinsky said he “felt like I got run over by a truck. I can’t describe it. It beats the … out of you.” Radinsky began exercising and stretching about a month after surgery and felt good enough to go to Angel Stadium for a game in mid-May.

Radinsky has been dressing in uniform and participating in pregame workouts on this homestand, and he hopes to resume his full-time duties “in a couple of weeks.” He felt exhilarated after passing a treadmill stress test Monday.

“I had never felt my heart beat like that in years,” Radinsky said. “I feel great. The doctors said I should be good for a lifetime. Who knows how long that will be, but I’m not worried about it.”

Short hops

Left-hander Tyler Skaggs has again ceased throwing and will be evaluated daily at the Angels’ spring-training facility in Arizona, according to Manager Mike Scioscia. He reported feeling shoulder tightness. Skaggs had Tommy John surgery in August 2014 and has slowly worked his way back in recent months. He was once expected to be ready for opening day. …Shortstop Andrelton Simmons returned to Anaheim on Tuesday from his rehab assignment with triple-A Salt Lake and will be activated Wednesday if he tests out well. He has been on the disabled list since May 10 with a torn ligament in his thumb. If Simmons is indeed activated, he will have significantly bested the initial prognosis. The Angels expected him to be out at least six weeks, and probably eight. He has missed only five. …Two of the Angels’ top three picks from last week’s draft said they signed with the team: first-round catcher Matt Thaiss for $2.15 million and third-round shortstop Nonie Williams for $950,000. … Infielder Cliff Pennington will rehab his strained hamstring at the Arizona facility while the Angels begin a six-game trip in Oakland this weekend. Catcher Geovany Soto (torn meniscus) could join him.

Twitter: @pedromoura