MIAMI – Major League Baseball changed the name of the disabled list to the injured list prior to this season. Trevor Williams has a suggestion for another switch.
“They should rename it the useless list,” the Pirates right-hander said Friday. “It’s been an experience. I hope I never go back on it.”
Williams took a step closer Thursday night to coming off the UL, uhh ... IL, when he made a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis. It was the first time he had pitched in a game since sustaining a strained left side May 16 in a start against the Padres in his hometown of San Diego.
Williams felt so good that he is ready to return to the major-league rotation if he gets the OK from the team’s medical staff. He threw 71 pitches in three innings and allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
After being removed from the game, Williams went back to the bullpen and threw the equivalent of two more innings. In a strange twist, Indianapolis manager Brian Esposito caught Williams in the bullpen as he had been ejected earlier in the game.
“No residuals. I felt strong yesterday and this morning I felt like I threw five innings yesterday,” Williams said before the Pirates and Marlins opened a three-game series at Marlins Park.
One of the newer trends in baseball is for pitchers to end their rehab starts by throwing in the bullpen. The rationale is they are less likely to overthrow in the bullpen than in the stress of a game situation during their final innings.
The Pirates are likely to slot Williams into the rotation during a two-game series against the Tigers next Tuesday and Wednesday at PNC Park.
The Pirates can’t get Williams back soon enough. He has been their best starting pitcher this season, going 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA and pitching at least six innings in each of his eight starts before being injured in San Diego.
Simply put, he is a stabilizer in a shaky rotation.