Williams not bothered by high pitch count

Originally Published: September 8, 2003
Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals: Woody Williams works hard for his victories. The question now is if he's working too hard.

Woody Williams

Williams leads the National League with 111 pitches per start and has struggled in the second half of the season. Still, the Cardinals are confident they're not overextending the 37-year-old right-hander.

"I think his arm has got good life, and he's got good stuff," said manager Tony La Russa, whose club is battling for the NL Central lead. "It's just location."

Williams won his 15th game, matching his career best, on Saturday. But it took him eight attempts to get there, and he gave up six runs in six innings while throwing 117 pitches.

After most starts, Williams has said he never even realized the count was so high, and that the burden wasn't taxing his arm. Pitching coach Dave Duncan doesn't see fatigue as an issue.

"There's only been a couple of times when he hasn't been real sharp," Duncan said. "He's trying so hard, but it's hard to win 20 games because so many things have to go right for you, and on top of that you have to pitch well."

Forget 20, getting to 15 was a marathon for Williams. After beating the Pirates July 26, Williams was 0-5 with a 4.74 ERA the next eight starts. Williams, 15-8 with a 3.84 ERA, also lost in relief at Chicago last week.

But he insists physical woes aren't at the seat of his won-lost problems in the second half. The Cardinals are averaging an NL-best 5.7 runs per start for Williams, but they've totaled 12 runs in his losses as a starter.

"I feel fine," Williams said.

Baltimore Orioles: Designated hitter David Segui had surgery Monday to repair a tendon in his left wrist.

Segui, who hasn't played since July 25, finished the season the way he started it: on the disabled list. In between, he hit .263 with five homers and 25 RBI in 67 games.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Thomas Graham at the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Graham used a piece of tissue to build a bridge to hold the damaged tendon down.

"The tendon itself was frayed and damaged. I didn't think I had damaged the tendon," Segui said. "They said it would be fine, but the damage was much worse than they anticipated."

It will be six to eight weeks before he can begin strengthening exercises.

"Thanksgiving is when I usually start swinging. So that gives me plenty of time," he said. "I should think I would be on schedule."

In other words, Segui should be ready to grab a bat and take his cuts when the spring training begins in February.

"That's the whole idea," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers purchased the contract of left-hander Tony Mounce from Triple-A Oklahoma and put him in their starting rotation.

The Rangers also transferred outfielder Juan Gonzalez from the 15- to 60-day disabled list. The two-time AL MVP, whom the Rangers tried to trade and have said they won't re-sign after this season, has been out since July 20 with a right calf injury.

Mounce is scheduled to start Tuesday night at Seattle. He will take the spot in the rotation of opening day starter Ismael Valdes, a right-hander the Rangers also have indicated they won't re-sign.

Manager Buck Showalter said the Rangers want to get another look at Mounce before the season ends. Mounce made his major league debut for the Rangers in June and went 1-4 with a 6.38 ERA in eight starts.

Cincinnati Reds: Catcher Corky Miller was recalled from the Louisville Bats and the Reds purchased the contract of right-hander Juan Cerros from the Triple-A team.

The Reds also moved left-hander Mark Watson from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. Watson is sidelined with what the organization describes as a "kidney ailment."

Miller is in his second stint with the Reds. He hit .249 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI in 103 games with Louisville and had his only two hits for the Reds on Aug. 27.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies extended their agreement with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers through September 2006.

Tulsa became a Rockies affiliate in September 2002 after 26 years in the Texas Rangers' system. The original agreement was to expire in September 2004.

"Our first year with the Drillers went very well, and we look forward to a long-term partnership," said Bill Geivett, the Rockies' director of player personnel.

Tulsa finished 74-64-1 in the Texas League last season, its best record since 1998.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press