Orioles still see Christian Walker as first baseman, other notes
Feb 29, 2016 at 9:01 PM
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Sunday that the Orioles were considering giving first-base prospect Christian Walker an opportunity to expand his skill set by playing in the outfield at Norfolk, but he backtracked a bit Monday.
"Right now, we're just trying to let him get through camp," Showalter said. "It's obvious he's worked hard at first base. He's been impressive. He's playing a lot freer and easier. You can tell he doesn't have any anxiety about it. He works hard at it. But things have a way of changing. There's a trade, all of a sudden, who knows, someone gets hurt. I don't think that's a priority."
The issue came up because the Orioles are suddenly awash in first basemen and are currently searching for outfield help, though there was never any consideration of adding Walker to the crowded outfield auditions this spring.
Walker said he'll be happy to do whatever might give him the best chance to help the major league club.
"I'd welcome anything they have to offer, anything that gives me an opportunity to help in the big leagues," Walker said. "I think I would be comfortable with something like that, but as of now, it's first base. Until somebody comes and asks me officially, I'm just going to worry about first base."
Showalter said that probably won't happen anytime soon.
"There's some talking about it, but now's not the time," he said. "I think he would be OK [in the outfield]. I know he'd work hard for it, especially if it was a carrot. He can hit."
Gallardo getting up to speed
Newly signed free agent Yovani Gallardo will take the mound for his second bullpen session today at the Ed Smith Stadium complex while the Orioles are opening the Grapefruit League exhibition season against the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Gallardo threw his first bullpen session Saturday. The coaching staff has not inserted him into the pitching rotation, but he is expected to make his Orioles exhibition debut sometime next week.
Around the horn: The Orioles held their annual nutrition seminar early Monday. The team invites a nutritionist to make a clubhouse presentation on healthful eating habits. "It's pretty impressive," Showalter said. … Last year's first-round draft choice, DJ Stewart, came over from minor league camp and took part in the Orioles' drills at the stadium, which featured very loud piped-in crowd noise.