Padres’ Third Base Coach Matt Williams Taking Leave Of Absence After Colon Cancer Diagnosis


Padres third base coach Matt Williams will step away from the team for an undetermined amount of time following tomorrow’s Opening Day festivities. Skipper Bob Melvin informed reporters (including Alden González of ESPN) on Wednesday that Williams was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. He’ll undergo surgery to address the issue on Friday.

Williams said he was first made aware of the issue a few weeks ago after a standard physical turned up a low red blood cell count. Fortunately, the 57-year-old indicated he’s feeling well physically. “I don’t have any symptoms, I don’t have any issues,” Williams told reporters. “At this point it’s important now to get it out of there. That’s the plan for Friday, and we’ll see how it goes from there. They’ll test, and they’ll do all the pathology and all of that at that point. But the initial scans were positive in that on the initial CT scan they didn’t see any spread anywhere else. That’s a good thing. We’ll see where it goes from there.

A five-time All-Star during his playing days, Williams has spent the better part of the last decade in the coaching ranks. He managed for the Nationals for two seasons in 2014-15, securing the NL’s Manager of the Year award in his first campaign. Williams later spent time on the A’s coaching staff and followed Melvin to San Diego over the 2021-22 offseason. He’s headed into his second season with the Friars.

Former Cardinals’ manager and current senior advisor Mike Shildt will take over third base coaching duties on an interim basis. MLBTR sends our best wishes to Williams and his family on his recovery.

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