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Williams subbing for McCatty for weekend series

Williams subbing for McCatty for weekend series

Williams subbing for McCatty for weekend series

MILWAUKEE -- Spin Williams will be the Nationals' interim pitching coach this weekend while Steve McCatty recovers from an irregular heartbeat.

Williams, the Minor League pitching coordinator for the Nationals, was in Louisville working with Triple-A Syracuse reliever Drew Storen when he received word from Doug Harris, the club's director of player development, that he was needed in Milwaukee for three days.

It will be Williams' first experience as a big league coach since 2005, when he was a pitching coach for the Pirates.

It will not be hard for Williams to get acquainted with the pitching staff. He worked with most of the pitchers in the Minor Leagues, with the exception of Dan Haren, Rafael Soriano and Gio Gonzalez.

"I'm just doing whatever they need me to do," Williams said. "I want to give them a little support. We all have the same uniform on, we are pulling on the rope the same way. I just want to help Cat a little bit while he is gone."

Williams spoke to McCatty on Thursday and said the latter was feeling much better and expects him to be back on the field Monday at Nationals Park.

"I spoke to him for 30 minutes yesterday and he is back to his old ornery self," Williams joked. "We had a good conversation on what to look for on these pitchers during the games, just keys that he has with pitchers. He was doing really well. He is anxious to get back. On Monday, you are going to see an ornery guy."

While he was in Louisville, Williams spent two days working with Storen, who was recently sent down to the Minors because he was having the worst year of his career.

Williams said he was impressed with Storen's mental outlook and how he was going about his business. After he was demoted, Storen took three days off and then told Williams that he was ready to work. Storen will pitch one inning on Friday and start the game Sunday and pitch two innings. After that, he will be used as a regular reliever.

"He wants to get better, and wants to get back to where he was a few years back," Williams said about Storen. "I was very pleased what he accomplished in a short period of time."

Before he was sent down, Storen wasn't able to throw the ball down in the zone, but Williams doesn't think Storen isn't that far off mechanically. Storen had a 50-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and he threw better than Williams expected.

"The ball was crisp, he felt good, he was relaxed, he looked good," Williams said. "I can't give a timeline. One thing I did tell him is, he's got to have patience. It's going to take time to get to where he was -- whether that's two weeks, three weeks or whatever. We'll see how he performs."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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