Notes: Williams suffers another setback

Notes: Williams suffers another setback

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It started as day-to-day and went to week-to-week. Where it ends is anyone's guess.

Todd Williams had another setback in his tumultuous spring and is now considered a serious long shot to be ready for Opening Day. The right-handed reliever was originally limited by a balky shoulder, but complications from a sore right calf have kept him from returning to the mound.

Here's the upshot: Williams hasn't thrown in an exhibition game and may not have enough time to do so.

"Todd is going to get an MRI [Wednesday]. I would say that he's extremely questionable," said Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo. "There's a good chance that he's not going to be ready. It's a precautionary thing. He wants to make sure everything is OK."

When the spring started, Williams was considered to be one of three Baltimore relievers with a guaranteed spot in the bullpen. That was an absolute first in the veteran's career. Williams, believed to be the career Minor League saves leader, has only one full big-league season to his credit. Now, his encore campaign appears to be in jeopardy.

The 35-year-old has thrown off a mound just once since the first week of camp, and he's been mostly limited to flat-ground throwing sessions in recent weeks. Still, Perlozzo has refused to count him out, stressing that Williams would only need a week's worth of game action to be ready for his one-inning role.

That changed on Tuesday, when Perlozzo retreated from the optimistic viewpoint to provide a realistic counterweight. Once the Orioles receive the MRI results, they'll re-think their plan of attack.

"It's a little tough when he's trying to come back and trying to come back. This will clear his mind and we'll try to get him going as quickly as we can," said Perlozzo. "It was still a little sore when he came in this morning. He still felt it, so I think we all felt that as long as he still feels it, we're jeopardizing stretching this thing out longer than we like."

Back in action: The Orioles got the last of their spring reinforcements on Tuesday, when Miguel Tejada and Daniel Cabrera rejoined the team after their experience in the World Baseball Classic.

Both players were enthusiastic about their time spent playing for the Dominican Republic and pleased to be back among their big-league teammates.

"We had a good team," Tejada said about his homeland, which lost to Cuba in the tournament's semifinalround. "There are a lot of guys on our team that are not ready to play, and at the same time, we have to give credit to the other teams that beat us.

"It's doesn't matter how good your team is. It's not about names. It's about how you play on the field and that's what happened to us. We played pretty good until the last game."

Cabrera, who provided one of the best pitched games of the tournament, said he owes his success to Leo Mazzone, Baltimore's pitching coach. The 25-year-old said he applied the lessons Mazzone gave him and expects to grow as a pitcher under the veteran's tutelage.

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"I'm excited to come back and work with Leo," he said. "He can make a big difference, in where I [was] before and where I am right now. He gives me a lot of confidence.

"He doesn't try to put too many things in my head. Working with him is really what I need."

Celebrity sightings: Bill Parcells, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was seen lurking around the batting cage on Tuesday. The two-time Super Bowl winner was visiting Perlozzo and taking advantage of some rare downtime.

"He's a good friend of mine [from] back in my days with Lou Piniella," said Perlozzo, who coached on Piniella's staffs in Cincinnati and Seattle. "Lou had introduced him to me back when I was in the National League. He met my dad that day and kind of took a liking to my dad. And we've been friends ever since."

Perlozzo talked about Parcells and Piniella, saying that the two of them share some obvious character traits.

"I guess I just like guys with that competitive nature -- that just have a fire in their belly to win and there is nothing acceptable other than going out and winning," he said. "I think anyone who is successful probably thinks that way. Just other people show it differently."

One more day: Perlozzo had originally anticipated naming his Opening Day starter on Tuesday, but he changed his mind in light of all the other developments.

"We'll do that for you tomorrow. We have enough stuff for you today," he said. "We were real busy this morning and I wanted to get with all the guys and I just couldn't get to them today. It will have to wait a day."

Quotable: "He's fun to talk to. He gives you a little insight on what he does, how he handles things. He says he can get my signs in one inning." Perlozzo, playfully revealing some of his interaction with Parcells

Coming up: The Orioles have another home game Wednesday, and they'll start Daniel Cabrera against Josh Johnson and the Florida Marlins. Eric DuBose, Jim Brower and Sendy Rleal are also expected to pitch for Baltimore.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.