“He’s available to pitch today,” Williams said. “We plan on him pitching. He threw yesterday. They wrapped him up pretty good. He’s got a good callous over the blister. So the anticipation today is to get him in there. We need to get him in there. It’s part of his progression. We’ll keep going with that.”
With Storen set as the closer, who will replace Tyler Clippard as the club’s go-to setup guy this season?
“We have options, which is a good thing,” Williams said. “We have lefty options and righty options, which is a good thing. We talked about Drew and him throwing today. He hasn’t had a back-to-back yet. It may be an option in the ninth. That will be a day-by-day thing to try to set it up. This year it is a little bit in flux. We have guys who are capable of doing it. They are not concerned about (who the setup guy is). They are worried about going and getting one out, getting three outs and getting us to the next inning.”
Williams has been impressed with what right-handed reliever Blake Treinen has given the club, especially in his ability to master several different roles since he arrived last season.
“Just versatility, he’s continuing to show that,” Williams said. “He came up last year, he was a long guy. We got him in situations where he’d get out of an inning and finish another. He started for us. This year, he has shown us he can do certainly the first two - He can come in for one to get an important out when we need it. And he’s pitched well enough to say he may be a guy we look to in the seventh, eighth (inning) to help us there.”
Could Treinen get some consideration for the eighth-inning setup role as the season begins?
“He could be,” Williams said. “We could use Blake there. We could use Aaron (Barrett) there or a combination of Aaron or Matt Thornton ... in the eighth. Depends on where we are at and how the previous game or the previous two games have gone. The game will give us that scenario and we will adjust accordingly.”
Williams is not overly concerned with the status of injuries in the field to the likes of Jayson Werth (shoulder surgery), Denard Span (core muscle surgery) and Anthony Rendon (sprained left MCL).
“I shy away from saying yes or no at this point with regard to spring training and how things have gone,” Williams said. “I do know this: that regardless of who we put out there, the 25 guys that are currently able to play that day will play their fannies off and will try to win games.”
He is pleased that those issues have not shown themselves in the starting rotation, a major strength of the team.
“The good thing about it is our starters have been on schedule and they are progressing and they are ready to go and so we feel good about it,” he said. “We feel confident about it and optimistic about it. We have to go execute and that’s the bottom line to it all.”