Jerome Williams heads to DL as tests continue
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Angels pitcher Jerome Williams still doesn’t have any definitive answers about what put him in the hospital Monday night, but until he and the team learn more, he won’t be pitching.
The Angels put Williams on the 15-day disabled list to clear a roster spot for right-hander Jered Weaver, who came off the DL on Wednesday night and started against the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium.
Williams returned to the team Wednesday afternoon and said he’s continuing to undergo tests at UCI Medical Center to get better clarity regarding his condition. He said it was probably “a mixture of asthma and anxiety” that caused him to have a shortness of breath after leaving Monday’s game and fainting in the clubhouse.
“I’m feeling a lot better today,” he said as he stood in front of his locker. “We’re just doing tests, that’s all. We’re trying to figure out what’s going on and take it day by day, see what’s going to happen and hopefully move forward.”
Williams said he underwent a series of breathing-related tests Wednesday and is scheduled to undergo more Thursday and Friday, including a stress test for his heart.
Because of privacy issues, manager Mike Scioscia could not offer additional details about Williams’ condition but said, “We’re going to get direction from the medical department. He’s got a lot of tests that are pending, and we’ll move forward from there.”
Right-hander Garrett Richards was likely headed back to Triple-A Salt Lake, but now he’ll remain with the team and could get two or three more stars while Williams is on the DL. Richards, who was beaten out for the No. 5 spot in the rotation by Williams last spring, has been impressive, going 2-0 in three starts with a 0.86 ERA as a fill-in for Weaver.
Scioscia said Richards will start Sunday against the Dodgers. Dan Haren will pitch Friday night and Ervin Santana on Saturday.
Williams, 30, said he suffers from asthma but hasn’t had an attack since he was about 4 or 5 years old. He uses an inhaler, which opens air passages if someone is having trouble breathing, but only in places where there’s high humidity or altitude, such as Colorado.
“That night it was 68 degrees and I was fine,” he said. “I didn’t think anything was going to happen.”
Williams concedes he might have been “amped up” facing the Giants, who drafted him in 1999, but insisted he felt fine during the game. After he was removed in the fourth inning and returned to the clubhouse, he struggled to breathe.
“I just passed out,” he said. “I felt dizzy and passed out. It was scary.”
Williams said he can play catch but was told to refrain from activities such as running. How soon he comes back remains unknown until he gets more information and a more complete diagnosis.
He hopes to return, he said “when the doctors say I’m ready. I can tell them I’m ready, but they know when I’m ready. When they say I’m all right, I’m all right.”