As a 15-year-old attending Midview (Ohio) High School roughly a decade ago, Ryan Feierabend was as busy as any other three-sport student-athlete.
Outside of the classroom and athletics, though, he sometimes found himself assuming the role of an adult.
With Feierabend's older sister already out of the house and his father working third shift, Feierabend would at times be the only person around to help his ailing mother, who has battled illnesses most of her life.
"When I was in high school I remember there would be times where I had to actually carry my mom up two flights of stairs to go to bed," Feierabend said. "She couldn't walk up the stairs because she's so sick."
While the York Revolution left-hander declined to discuss the specifics of his mother's illnesses at spring training practice on Monday at Sovereign Bank Stadium, he said she has always kept a positive attitude no matter what she's faced. So, when Feierabend received news that no pitcher likes to hear in 2009, he looked to his mom to get through it.
Tommy John surgery: In March 2009, the 6-foot, 3-inch, 220-pounder found himself throwing a bullpen session in the spring training camp of the Seattle Mariners when something went wrong.
"It was my 19th pitch of my 'pen and I threw a slider," he said. "The slider was up and I felt my elbow pop and I said 'I'm done.'"
A year before, Feierabend had made eight starts for Seattle Mariners in the second half of the 2008 season. He would have started the team's final game of the year against the Oakland Athletics, except a nagging arm injury that bugged him during the first half of the year popped back up again. Rehab over the ensuing offseason hadn't cured the injury, as he found out the next spring training. Feierabend would need Tommy John surgery to his throwing arm, causing him to miss the entire 2009 season.
Comeback: In his comeback from surgery in 2010, Feierabend went 4-7 with a 5.30 ERA in 17 starts for the Mariners' Class AAA Tacoma team. In his first full year feeling healthy in 2011, Feierabend pitched mostly as a starter for the Philadelphia Phillies' Class AAA Lehigh Valley team, going 10-8 with a 5.39 ERA. Lehigh Valley used him out of the bullpen during the final month of the season and he performed well enough that the Phillies invited him back as a reliever for minor league spring training camp this year.
Although Feierabend said he threw three near-perfect innings in relief (he walked a batter) during spring training, the Phillies opted to let him go.
Coming to York: Feierabend is returning to a starting role with York. Revs' manager Andy Etchebarren confirmed on Monday that Feierabend is the team's No. 2 starter.
As for Feierabend's past, present and future, his tattoos may say it best. On his right shoulder is a Chinese character that stands for "warrior," which represents what he's been through in his life, especially with his mom, who he said is feeling better these days.
On the other shoulder is a flaming baseball, which represents his passion for the sport. Now he just has to regain the fire to get him back to the big leagues, something Etchebarren thinks could happen sooner rather than later.
Thurman named Open ing Day starter: Revs' pitching coach Mark Mason said Monday that right-hander Corey Thurman will be the team's Opening Day starter, followed by Feierabend as the No. 2 starter and left-hander Chris Cody at the No. 3 spot ... Thurman will get the start at Fan Fest on Saturday ... Reliever Adam Thomas and outfielder Stephen Douglas arrived in York on Monday.
-- Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or jwalk@york dispatch.com or follow on Twitter @JohnKWalk.