Pitching coordinator Spin Williams joined the Nationals today in Milwaukee and will serve as Washington’s pitching coach this weekend. Steve McCatty, who was released from a Washington hospital Wednesday after he experienced an irregular heartbeat Sunday morning, will resume his duties Monday when the Nationals return home.
“He’s doing really well,” Williams said. “I talked to him for about 30 minutes yesterday. He’s back to his old ornery self. We had a conversation on what to look for on these pitchers during the games and things. Just keys that he has with the pitchers. He was doing really well. He’s anxious to get back. Monday, you’re going to see an ornery guy.”
Before Williams traveled to Milwaukee, he spent two days with recently demoted reliever Drew Storen in Louisville. Williams came away impressed with Storen’s quick improvement with his mechanics and his approach.
“I was really impressed with his mental outlook and how he was going about his business,” Williams said. “He had a lot less strain on his face and stress. He took those three days off like he should and he came down and said, ‘I’m ready to work.’ He wants to get better. He wants to get back to where he was a few years back.”
Williams mapped out Storen’s schedule. He’ll make his first appearance for Syracuse tonight. Sunday, Storen will start and pitch two innings “just to give him a different look,” Williams said.
And Storen will look different. After talking with Tyler Clippard, Storen decided to go back to using a wind-up with no one on base. He used the wind-up when he came up in 2010 but went away from it in 2011, when he switched to a stiff front hip.
“He felt like it gave him more athleticism,” Williams said. “He felt like it gave him more freedom with his arm. He threw several pitches out of the wind-up and looked pretty good. He got a little more rotation and turn out of the wind-up. He feels like he needs to put that in his delivery out of the stretch as well.”
With the Nationals, Williams will be down one pitcher. Ross Ohlendorf left Wednesday’s loss because of stiffness in his arm, a result of his 114-pitch start last Friday. Ohlendorf played catch today and still feels minor inflammation. He is not injured, but Manager Davey Johnson said he will not use Ohlendorf this weekend.
“I feel like I’m going to be completely fine,” Ohlendorf said.