Feierabend Pitching Again After Tommy John
PEORIA, Ariz. — Eighteen months later, lefthander Ryan Feierabend
is contending for a big league job again.
Following Tommy John surgery, he's back on the mound in Arizona with the Mariners and feeling very much like his old self again.
"Honestly, this was like my first time pitching at Safeco Field," Feierabend said. "That might sound weird, but for me having not faced a hitter in 18 months, it just felt so good to get out there, whether it was against my own teammates or whatever. To be able to go out there and throw strikes and be consistent, it was awesome."
It's an important time for Feierabend, because almost nobody in the organization has seen him pitch much. General manager Jack Zduriencik
and the manager Don Wakamatsu
were in different organizations when Feierabend last pitched.
The injury that sidelined him took place in the final week of April 2008, but Feierabend kept trying to pitch through the pain. It didn't work. He got called up at the end of that season after spending two months rehabbing, but even so he wasn't healthy. He tried to rest and rehabilitate his arm from November through February, but it didn't work.
Now he's back, although a long shot to make the roster at the moment.
"(It's taken) a lot of work and a lot of pain," he said. "I don't want to say it was helpful to have it done, but it was for me, to see what type of mental capacity I have and how to deal with an injury. I'd never been hurt and never been on the DL in my pro career before. It was a good test of my mental state to see where I was at."
• First baseman Tommy Everidge
was emotional after his first at-bat of the spring, a grand slam home run, as it was the first time he couldn't call his father to talk about it. Will Everidge, 50, died on Oct. 18 of kidney failure. "It's the worst thing I have ever gone through," Everidge said.
• The Mariners signed righthander Tom Wilhelmsen
to a minor league deal. Wilhelmsen was originally drafted in 2002 by the Brewers—with Jack Zduriencik as scouting director. He pitched well for low Class A Beloit in 2003, but sat out 2004 after failing two drug tests administered by the Brewers. In 2005, he retired but played independent ball last season and regained his 97 mph velocity. The Brewers called him back for a tryout, but he pinched a nerve in his shoulder and was given his official release from the team.