Trevor Williams made his second start of the spring on Friday afternoon, and the 30-year-old right-hander, who signed a 2-year/$13M free agent deal with the Nationals back in December tossed two scoreless innings in the outing, striking out two and allowing just one hit in a 23-pitch, 20-strike appearance against the New York Mets.
The starter mixed things up in the brief, effective appearance, throwing 39% sinkers (87.9 MPH average), 30% four-seamers (90.1 MPH), 22% changeups (83.2 MPH), and 9% curveballs (77.2 MPH) according to Baseball Savant.
Williams talked after signing on in D.C. about joining the rebooting ballclub in the midst of their process and helping them get back to where they want to be.
“I was getting excited talking to Josh Bell about some of the kids with the Nationals,” Williams explained, “and [Bell] saying they got a good head on their shoulders, they’re hungry to bring a championship back to D.C.
“I”m looking forward to kind of watching back and seeing how they work. Everyone is different and I’ve been very fortunate enough to play with a lot of great baseball players in this game, seeing the leadership last year of — I mean, you guys saw with Max [Scherzer], seeing how he works, seeing how [Jacob] deGrom works, seeing [Chris] Bassitt work, and then seeing how — when I came up in the big leagues with Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon, seeing how those guys lead, so to see them, and to have guys like Craig Stammen too, be a good leader, and what I heard of the guys from the Padres that [the Nationals] got [in the Juan Soto and Bell trade], with MacKenzie Gore and [CJ] Abrams, seeing how hungry they are and the head on their shoulders, so I’m looking forward to seeing these guys flourish, and if I can help in any way possible I’m looking forward to that.”
“It is funny,” he added.
“When I was looking at the roster where I think I’ve turned the page and I’ve become the old guy. Even though I feel like I’m not too old. I’m looking forward to taking on that role, and learning something from these kids too.”
What the Nationals are looking for from Williams is consistent innings and the veteran presence he’ll bring to the mix in the rotation along with Patrick Corbin and the expected young rotation arms like Gore, Josiah Gray, and Cade Cavalli.
“Trevor, hopefully, will give us successful innings, quality innings,” GM Mike Rizzo told reporters at the start of Spring Training, and provide a model for how to approach the job of starting in the majors as Williams has for most of his seven seasons in the majors.
“I really like the way he gets after hitters,” the GM explained. “This pitch clock era, I think he’s going to be a quick mover and a strike thrower, I think he’s going to pound the strike zone, the defense is going to be on their toes, because the ball will be in play, and I just think he gives us — with that group of young pitchers that we have — Trevor is not old, by any means, but I think he’s been around long enough that he can give those guys some mentorship, and needless to say he’s a terrific guy in the clubhouse and a real breath of fresh air as far as mentoring and giving of his time, he’s all about that stuff, and that really was an important part of bringing him over here and giving him a multi-year deal, because I think so much of him in the clubhouse that I think he’ll be a valuable asset for us, not only on the mound, but between the lines, in the clubhouse, in the community, I think he’s going to have a positive effect on all that.”
Talking after completing his second outing in Grapefruit League action this spring, Williams said he was happy with the start and his progress so far as he builds up for his first season in the nation’s capital.
“I think we’re exactly where we need to be at this point in spring,” Williams said, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco. “We were gonna go out there for another one, but that inning just went longer, so it was just best at this point in the spring to not push it. We’re on track. This was No. 2. I think I have five left still, so I think we’re on track to be where we’re at by the time the season starts.”