San Diego Padres third base coach Matt Williams is set to have surgery after being diagnosed with colon cancer as the 2001 World Series champion is away from the team indefinitely.
San Diego Padres third base coach Matt Williams has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be out of the team indefinitely as he will have surgery Friday.
Mike Scheldt, a former St. Louis Cardinals manager who was a key advisor with the Padres, will fill in as the third base coach starting Thursday, when the most hotly anticipated season in franchise history begins with a home game against the Colorado Rockies.
Williams, a five-time All-Star in a 17-year career that’s been spent mostly with the San Francisco Giants, said he was diagnosed with the condition about three weeks ago.
He will be with the Padres for the Opening Day festivities and will then have surgery to remove a tumor near his colon on Friday.
“I don’t have any symptoms, I don’t have any issues, but at this point it’s important we get it out of there,” Williams said Wednesday.
Williams, 57, said initial scans show the cancer has not spread.
Padres head coach Matt Williams III developed colon cancer and will have surgery on Friday
The 57-year-old former player will be away from the Padres indefinitely while he recovers
That’s a good thing, so we’ll see how it goes from here. (…) I will do my best and fight as hard as I can to get back as soon as possible.
Williams played 10 seasons with San Francisco, one with Cleveland and six with Arizona, including 2001 when the Diamondbacks won the World Series. He has won four Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards.
Williams managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons and was the 2014 National League Manager of the Year. He was the third base coach for head coach Bob Melvin in Oakland in 2018-19 and joined Melvin’s Padres staff last season.
“I’ve been with Matt on five different teams,” Melvin said, “I’ve known him for over 35 years and he just might be the toughest guy I’ve ever come across in baseball.” I know in particular that he will go all out with his life and beat him.
Our players have been fully supportive of him. It’s hard being so close to someone and knowing they have to deal with it but I know they are and I know they will get over it.