Walters begins seeing work at second base

Walters begins seeing work at second base

VIERA, Fla. -- Before Tuesday, infielder Zach Walters hadn't played second base since he joined the Nationals in 2011. Walters, who plays shortstop and third base, is trying to make the 25-man roster as a backup infielder, and was told to begin working at second on Tuesday.

Walters was scheduled to start to against the Mets at second base Wednesday, but he was a late scratch because of flu-like symptoms. Mike Fontenot started in Walters' place.

"He is really sick," manager Matt Williams said about Walters. "He wouldn't tell anybody. We looked at him, and he didn't look too good. We asked him, and he reluctantly said he didn't feel well."

Walters entered Wednesday as one of Washington's hottest hitters this spring, going 6-for-7 (.857) with a homer and three RBIs.

"We want to make sure he gets some time [at second base]," Williams said. "It may be limited, with the amount that he plays over there. He plays short, he plays third, certainly. He'll get some time at second. He stayed back [Tuesday] and got some work done at second base. You'll never know when he will be asked to play there or not. We have to make sure he is comfortable."

Meanwhile, outfielder Steven Souza was working at first base, and he looked comfortable at the position.

Although he is known as an outfielder, Souza started his professional career as an infielder. He started out as a third baseman, saw some time at shortstop, and played 117 games at first for Class A Potomac in 2011.

"I'm pretty comfortable. I grew up as an infielder. So anywhere in the infield, I'm getting my feet underneath me. I love it. It's fun," Souza said. "I will do anything to help the team out if they need someone."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.