Padres coach 3B Williams has colon cancer, surgery on Friday

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Padres third baseman coach Matt Williams has colon cancer and will undergo surgery on Friday.

Mike Shildt, the former St. Louis Cardinals coach and senior adviser to the Padres, will replace the third base coach starting Thursday, when the most anticipated season in franchise history begins with a home game against the Colorado Rockies.

Williams, a five-time all-star during a 17-year career spent mostly with the San Francisco Giants, said he was diagnosed about three weeks ago.

“I don’t have any symptoms, I don’t have any issues, but at this point it’s important that we get him out of there,” Williams said Wednesday.

Williams, 57, said initial scans show the cancer has not spread. “It’s a good thing, so we’ll see how it goes from here. … I’ll do what I can 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 led the Washington Nationals for two seasons and was NL Manager of the Year in 2014. He was manager Bob Melvin’s third baseman coach at Oakland in 2018-19 and joined the staff of Melvin’s Padres la last season.

“I’ve been with Matt on five different teams, I’ve known him for over 35 years and he might be the toughest guy I’ve ever met in baseball,” Melvin said. “I know in particular that he’s going to give the fiercest effort of his life and he’s going to beat it. Our players totally supported him. It’s hard to be so close to someone and know he has to deal with it, but I know he is and I know he’s going to beat him.


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