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Rookie Steve Wilkerson arrives in camp with a suitcase full of gloves to compete for a utility role

Rookie infielder Steve Wilkerson didn't exactly light the baseball world on fire last year.

He was suspended for part of the season for taking a banned amphetamine and struggled mightily at the plate in a couple of stays at the major league level, but he’s ready to make a fresh start in front of a new manager and coaching staff.

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“I think it’s a fresh start for the players, the staff, the fan base, the city,’’ he said, soon after arriving in camp to get ready for Monday’s first full-squad workout. “I think it’s a really exciting time right now.”

Everyone knows that the Ed Smith Stadium complex is a land of opportunity this spring, just as it should have been for Wilkerson in 2018 if he had not gotten such a late start. The Orioles were enamored of his defensive versatility, which should play well on a rebuilding team looking to have maximum roster flexibility.

He joked that he brought 10 gloves to camp, but certainly brought enough to play every position but catcher and said he doesn’t know where he fits into the club’s defensive plans.

“I really have no idea,’’ he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some meetings over the next couple of days and get a better idea of how to go about my work at different positions and kind of what they’re thinking. But as of right now, nothing’s in mind.”

Despite his travails last season, Wilkerson is happy that he got a chance to make his major league debut and play in 16 games, even if his .174/.224/.239 slash line wasn’t pretty.

“Absolutely,’’ he said. “It’s not like I had a bunch of success up there, but I did a few things well and I think with the element of doubt eliminated and coming into the season kind of having seen Triple-A, seen the big leagues, it’s comforting. Yeah, I think it was very beneficial.”

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