Rounding the Bases with Chaz Packan — Christian Walker Q&A
On Tuesday, June 4 Chaz Packan sat down with Keys first baseman Christian Walker for a “Keys Q & A” for this week’s edition of Rounding the Bases.
CP: How do you feel about playing for the Frederick Keys?
CW: I am pretty happy. We have been playing well, been swinging the bat well, I have been working with (hitting coach Torre) Tyson in the cage. You know, as a first baseman things are expected out of me offensively and I want to help the team anyway I can.
CP: What are your earliest memories of baseball?
CW: I have been playing baseball for as long as I can remember. Throwing and hitting a baseball with my dad, those have to be my earliest memories.
CP: Who did you look up to in the major leagues as your role model?
CW: Scott Rolen was my favorite player having grown up a Phillies fan when he was with the Phillies earlier in his career.
CP: Describe how it felt playing college baseball at South Carolina and winning the College World Series in Omaha.
CW: It was awesome. Best three years of my life. It was a tough decision coming out of high school, whether I wanted to play in college or sign, but I have no regrets.
* After a two-day break courtesy of Mother nature, the Keys take on Potomac in a road doubleheader tonight. Frederick trails the P-Nats by two games in the Carolina League North. Potomac gets a boost from its big-league club, who sent them starter Ross Detwiler, making a rehab start in game one. Some game notes:
KEYS GAME ONE STARTER: RHP Brady Wager (Has not pitched)
- Posted a 2-3 record with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts with Class-A Delmarva before his promotion on June 4, which followed his worst start of the season on May 30: 6.2 IP, 15 H, 8 ER.
- Prior to his last start with the Shorebirds, Wager had gone 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA and held batters to a .229 average against.
- Drafted by the Orioles in the ninth round of the 2012 draft out of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.
KEYS GAME TWO STARTER: LHP Trent Howard (3-0, 1.45)
- Has started two games this season and has not been part of a decision, while posting a 3.86 ERA over a combined seven innings.
- In relief, has allowed just 2 ER in 24 IP, a 0.75 ERA, and has 26 strikeouts.
NATIONALS GAME ONE STARTER: LHP Ross Detwiler (HNP)
- Making first rehab start since injuring his right oblique on May 16.
- Posted 2-4 record, 2.76 ERA in eight starts before injury
- Is 10-10 with 4.86 in Potomac career; last pitched for P-Nats on rehab in ‘09
NATIONALS GAME TWO STARTER: RHP A.J. Cole (2-2, 4.92)
- Struck out eight and earned his second win in his last start, June 2 against Lynchburg. He allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings and fanned eight.
- Rated as the No. 3 prospect in the Oakland organization prior to the 2013 season, according to Baseball America.
- Originally drafted by the Nationals in the fourth round ’10. One of four traded to Oakland in exchange for Gio Gonzalez prior to the ‘12 season. Returned to Nationals in offseason as part of deal that sent Michael Morse to Seattle.
WHAT’S YOUR WAGER?: With Keys game one starter Brady Wager on the hill, bet on groundballs. With Class-A Delmarva, Wager recorded 3.33 times as many outs by ground as he did by air in nine starts. In addition, he’s only allowed one home run, which came in his last start with Delmarva.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Keys and Nationals will play each other eight times in their final eleven games of the first half, with first place in the North and a playoff berth on the line. The first-place P-Nats, winners of eight in a row and 11 of their last 12, hold a two-game lead on the Keys and a 3.5 game lead on Lynchburg.
OFF TO SAN JOSE: Keys Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and catcher Zane Chavez were named Carolina League All-Stars Friday and will fly to San Jose, Calif., to play in the 2013 California-Carolina All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 18. Rodriguez (6-2, 2.94) leads the Carolina League in innings pitched (70.1), is tied for the league lead in wins and is ninth in ERA. Chavez, a left-handed hitter, leads all catchers in on-base percentage (.384) and walks (30). He’s batting .279 with four homers, a team-high 27 RBIs and a team-high 13 doubles. Rodriguez, 20, is the youngest member of the Keys and Chavez, 26, is the oldest.