SARASOTA, Fla. – Christian Walker’s path to first base with the Orioles is blocked, at least for the foreseeable future. Walker dresses next to Chris Davis here, and he’d like to continue their close association.
That might happen only if Walker changes positions.
Early in camp, manager Buck Showalter said that it was possible Walker could play right field, but it would more likely occur at Norfolk than during spring training.
“I think some people are thinking it, but until something formal happens, this is where I’m at,” Walker said.
“I feel like I’m athletic enough to make the adjustment, to go out there and learn a new position, but at the same time, I’m here to help the team win any way I can whether it’s at first or a different position. If it gets me in the lineup, anything they need from me to make this team better I’ll do that.”
Walker entered Monday with two home runs and eight RBIs. He’s batting .273 this spring.
In his second spring with the Orioles, he finds a big difference.
“Definitely much more relaxed, trying to take the pressure off myself, whatever self-inflected pressure I brought last year, trusting a lot of the work I put in in the offseason,” Walker said.
Walker, who played in 13 games with the Orioles in the last two seasons, has never played first professionally. He did play the outfield for a time at South Carolina.
“My college coach worked me out there occasionally. I guess he knew it would be another good tool to have in the toolbox, especially a power guy, a corner guy. I’m not uncomfortable out there, I just have some things to learn,” Walker said.