ST. LOUIS -- First baseman Christian Walker is back in the big leagues with the D-backs after being recalled from Triple-A Reno following Saturday's game.One of the biggest challenges he will face is staying sharp without getting a lot of starts while backing up All-Star Paul Goldschmidt."He happens to play
ST. LOUIS -- First baseman Christian Walker is back in the big leagues with the D-backs after being recalled from Triple-A Reno following Saturday's game.
One of the biggest challenges he will face is staying sharp without getting a lot of starts while backing up All-Star Paul Goldschmidt.
"He happens to play the same position that one of the best players in the world plays," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's going to be prepared, and it will be a challenge for him, but he knows that. He knows that he's going to get some at-bats that are scattered here and there off the bench, and he knows he's going to get a start here and there. It will be a little challenging, but we're going to be creative."
Walker has played left field some in the Minors and said he feels confident in his abilities out there. Lovullo made it sound like that would probably not be something that happens often, though.
For now, Walker's biggest role will be providing the D-backs with something they haven't had much of this year: a right-handed power hitter off the bench.
"It's just nice to know you have that weapon sitting on the bench that opposing managers are well aware of," Lovullo said. "He's an impact bat who can change the game with one swing of the bat."
Walker was the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player last year after clubbing 32 homers and driving in 114 runs for Reno.
That earned him a September callup, and he went 3-for-12 mostly in a pinch-hit role and made the D-backs' postseason roster; he saw action in a pair of games, going 1-for-1.
Walker had a good spring as well, hitting .302/.388/.605, but was optioned to Reno.
"It's frustrating," Walker said. "Everybody wants to make the team and be a part of the big league team. I definitely took it in stride. I've been a part of that conversation a few times in my career, so it's nothing new, but at the same time, it is the nature of the business. Just take it all in stride. I'm super excited. Glad to be here. Good spring, and hopefully I can keep the momentum going and know my role. Any way I can help the team. Starting, coming in late, whatever they need. Obviously, I'm here for the team."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.