VIERA, Fla. - Matt Williams met with the media this afternoon, as he does every afternoon in spring, and discussed a variety of topics. Here’s a sample platter from that afternoon session with reporters:
On Ryan Zimmerman getting his first work this spring at first base during early drills: “He’s got great hands, man, so he’s really good at it. ... We worked with his footwork around the bag. That’s an important thing for a guy that may get a chance to move across the diamond for a couple of games in spring, or a few innings, or whatever it is. We want to make sure his footwork is good so his foot is in the right place and he doesn’t get stepped on.
“It’s a progression. But he’s certainly willing to do it and he’s excited about doing it. And if we get a chance to put him over there for a couple of innings this spring, we’ll do that.”
On going with Taylor Jordan as his starter for Friday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets: “The ball just comes out of his hand really nice. For me, he’s got mid-90s fastball with movement, good changeup, throws breaking balls for strikes. I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen. It’s just electric stuff out of the hand. I can’t wait to see him in a game and get an opposition hitter in there and have some competition for him.”
On how much Jordan still has to learn: “I just think he needs to trust himself and trust his stuff. Because it’s good. It’s really good stuff. His success, as anybody’s success, lies with the ability to throw the breaking ball for strikes and use his changeup effectively. That’s everybody. Stras is the same way. So’s Doug Fister. ... That comes from experience and trusting yourself and knowing yourself. Yeah, he has sped through the system, but there’s a reason for that: He’s a really good pitcher.
“I think everybody’s ready to go. They’re excited about the first game. Ready to get out there on the field and play against somebody else that has a different uniform on.
On if he’s talked to players about how much he wants to play them in spring: “My thought is that we’re going to ease them into it. We have a lot of guys in camp. I personally want to see a lot of guys, and it’s important to do that. At the same time, keeping in mind that I want to make sure they’re good. We have the ability to send guys to the minor-league side for extra at-bats if we need to do it.”
On if Ryan Mattheus’ chest injury will affect Williams’ evaluation of him: “Not in the least. We’d like it to be as soon as possible, but we have to make sure we look out for his best interests, too. It could be any day that he says, ‘Oh boy, I feel a lot better,’ and then we’ll progress to where he was when he had that, I guess it would be a strain of that area.”
On minor league infielder Josh Johnson’s wrist injury: “He had surgery yesterday. He’s got a broken hamate. They took care of it yesterday. He was here today and not happy. But he was here today. Everything was good with the surgery. They removed it. He’ll be good to go in 4-to-6 weeks.”