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Walker gets callup after stellar Triple-A season

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- When Major League clubhouses fill with September callups, locker space is often at a premium.

Such was the case for Christian Walker on Sunday morning. With every stall in the D-backs clubhouse already taken, Walker found himself sharing a locker with Arizona reliever Jimmie Sherfy. The cramped space comes with a reward, though; in that locker hangs the No. 53 jersey that Walker will wear when he suits up for his first Major League game since 2015.

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PHOENIX -- When Major League clubhouses fill with September callups, locker space is often at a premium.

Such was the case for Christian Walker on Sunday morning. With every stall in the D-backs clubhouse already taken, Walker found himself sharing a locker with Arizona reliever Jimmie Sherfy. The cramped space comes with a reward, though; in that locker hangs the No. 53 jersey that Walker will wear when he suits up for his first Major League game since 2015.

Full Game Coverage

The D-backs selected Walker from Triple-A Reno on Sunday and transferred right-hander Randall Delgado (right elbow inflammation) to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. Arizona now has 35 players on its active roster.

Walker hit .309 with 32 homers and 114 RBIs this season in Reno and earned Pacific Coast League MVP honors for an Aces team that went 80-62 and won its division.

"It was really good," Walker said. "The last few years I just haven't been happy with my numbers, my totals at the end of the year. It felt good to look up and be proud of the final product."

Walker arrived to Chase Field just a few hours before first pitch Sunday after catching a cross-country flight from his home in South Carolina.

"I got the call right around dinner time yesterday," Walker said. "We had played our last game in Reno Friday night, had a flight home yesterday, and got the call Saturday evening."

Walker, 26, led the PCL in RBIs and finished tied for second in homers and third in slugging percentage. It was a career year for a player who went to two College World Series with South Carolina (winning in 2011) and was drafted by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

Walker played 13 games with Baltimore from 2014-15 and was selected off waivers from the Reds by the D-backs in March. He hit .264 with 18 homers for the Triple-A Norfolk Tide in 2016. He credited an adjustment to his bat path for the jump in production.

"It's hard to put a finger on one certain thing," Walker said. "But I just tried to take a step back and kind of look at myself, who I am as a hitter and just play into that role. Get on [the hitting] plane early, try to limit my strikeouts -- if I can just limit the strikeouts and put the ball in play, good things happen. Just trying to keep it simple and stay consistent with it."

Delgado, who carved out a role as a long reliever and spot starter with the D-backs early in the year, was 1-2 with a 3.59 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. He went on the DL in July with inflammation in his elbow and has not pitched in the Majors since.

He threw an inning during a rehab assignment at Class A Short-Season Hillsboro on Wednesday, but reported pain in his arm after the outing.

"I mean, it's kind of like, sad, you know?" Delgado said. "I've been trying to help the team the most I can. I feel sad. At this moment, I would like to be with them, trying to support and do whatever I can, but it is how it is. These are the big leagues. The doctor says it's nothing that serious, so I'm happy for that, too"

An MRI last week revealed a flexor strain in his elbow, and now he and the D-backs are awaiting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews that could come Monday or Tuesday.

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Christian Walker