Thompson originally hurt his back in late May, missing consecutive games at the time, and the Dodgers have seen his production wane from that point. Before the injury, Thompson was batting .274 with a .528 slugging percentage in 41 games; his marks fall to .185 and .362 in 39 games afterward.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thompson aggravated the injury in the first-half finale on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. He was held out of the lineup at Arizona on Friday.
In Walters, the Dodgers now have a versatile defender who started out as a shortstop in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system. Already this year, Walters has seen action at every position except catcher, even pitching in one game.
"I think I can rotate around and give guys a break, set them up for the long haul," said Walters, who has 82 games of major league experience with the Washington Nationals and Cleveland. "But I would say my best defense is offense, so hopefully, I can show what I can do with the bat."
Walters said work with Triple-A hitting coach Shawn Wooten helped him to become more consistent at the plate, batting .298 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 77 games with Oklahoma City.
Walters is appreciative of the opportunity, especially after being involved in a Dec. 22 car crash near his residence in Las Vegas. He was knocked unconscious in the accident and needed 26 stitches to his head and face after a driver turned in front of him at an intersection.
"It's the Dodgers, a historic franchise, so I'm just happy to be here," he said.