Braves lose Christian Walker to Reds on waivers


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Nine days after claiming Christian Walker off waivers from the Orioles, the Braves lost the former University of South Carolina slugger Tuesday on a waiver claim by the Reds.

The Braves tried to slip the first baseman-left fielder through waivers at what can be an opportune time, early in spring training when many teams have no room on their 40-man rosters. It didn’t work, as the Reds opened a spot for Walker by designating for assignment the contract of pitcher Jumbo Diaz.

What to make of Braves’ spring start

Walker, who’ll turn 26 this month, was 2-for-16 with a home run, a walk and six strikeouts in six Grapefruit League games for the Braves, who had claimed him off waivers in hopes of having him at Triple-A as insurance in case of an injury.

He hit 18 home runs each of the past two seasons at Triple-A Norfolk, and Walker was 4-for-27 with one homer in brief major league stints in 2014 and 2015.

Last season in Triple-A, Walker hit .264 with 49 extra-base hits, 64 RBIs and a .757 OPS in 131 games, making 90 starts in left field and four at first base — his other action came as designated hitter — after playing almost exclusively at first base in his previous four minor league seasons.

A fourth-round draft pick by the Orioles in 2012, Walker has a .276 average with 75 home runs, 299 RBIs and a .342 OBP and .791 OPS in 533 minor league games. He hit .288 with a career-best 26 homers in 2014 between Double-A and Triple-A stints.

Suggested video:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Ruiz could be among candidates for backup 1B, Snitker said
Ruiz could be among candidates for backup 1B, Snitker said

The Braves haven’t settled on a replacement for backup first-base duties since Matt Adams left as a non-tendered free agent, but several options will be considered, including third-base hopeful Rio Ruiz. This according to manager Brian Snitker, who said Ruiz would get some playing time at first base during spring training, after getting some...
Photos: The Braves at spring training
Photos: The Braves at spring training

The Braves continued workouts at spring training in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Saturday. The first full squad workout is Monday. Click through the photo gallery above to see images from the AJC’s Curtis Compton. See prospects Ronald Acuna, Max Fried and others. The Braves play their first spring game on Feb. 23 against the Mets. They open the...
So, who’ll hit fourth behind Freeman?
So, who’ll hit fourth behind Freeman?

Braves manager Brian Snitker isn’t sure who’ll bat fourth behind slugger Freddie Freeman this season, but ‘Snit’ sounds certain about not dropping Freeman one spot to hit in that position. All of the lineups Snitker has conjured so far have Freeman remaining in the third spot, the manager said Friday. “Freddie’s...
Blair nearly 40 pounds lighter, seeks to revitalize career
Blair nearly 40 pounds lighter, seeks to revitalize career

In the first days of Braves spring training, more than one clubhouse visitor wondered aloud who the guy was sitting at Aaron Blair’s locker. It was Blair, or about 85 percent of the guy who used to be him.  Blair has lost nearly 40 pounds since last spring, most of the weight shed during a conditioning program this winter when he worked...
Braves’ Swanson: ‘Last year is last year, it’s in the past’
Braves’ Swanson: ‘Last year is last year, it’s in the past’

It didn’t seem like much at the time, but perhaps a strained side muscle that forced Dansby Swanson to miss two weeks of 2017 spring training had residual effects during a season that went awry early for the Braves shortstop. Swanson never used it as an excuse or even mentioned that injury again until he was asked by a reporter Friday whether...
More Stories