Apr 6, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Erik Komatsu (44) watches from the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Checking In On The Rule 5 Losses

Back in December’s Rule 5 Draft the Washington Nationals lost a pair of players to other teams. To date, neither has been returned to the Nationals so with the season’s first full month coming to a close it seems like an opportune time to check in on how each has been faring with their new organizations.

Right-hander Brad Meyers was selected by the New York Yankees after making 16 starts for Triple-A Syracuse late last season. The 26 year old was shut down early in Spring Training due to a strained muscle in his right shoulder. He was ultimately placed on the 15-day DL before the season started, allowing the Yankees to retain his rights for the time being (per Rule 5 rules, once the team no longer can keep Meyers on the active Major League roster he must be offered back to the Nationals).

Meyers did make a single rehab appearance with the team’s affiliate in the Florida State League. He lasted only 1.2 innings, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits with 0 walks or strikeouts. That appearance was back on April 9th and he has yet to make another appearance since. There remains no timetable for his return.

The Rule 5 loss with the bigger impact would seem to be outfielder Erik Komatsu. After being selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in December it quickly seemed evident that he’d be given a chance to stick with the Major League club in a reserve role considering the Cardinals knew they’d enter the season with a lack of depth in the outfield. After a respectable Spring Training, Komatsu did end up making the team.

To date he’s appeared in 15 games, totaling 21 plate appearances. He’s batting .211/.286/.211 and has appeared at all three outfield positions. The Cardinals may get some of their depth back in the coming weeks, as Allen Craig and Lance Berkman continue their recovery from injuries, but there does not seem to be any indication that Komatsu is in danger of losing his spot on their active roster. The chances remain high that he is kept on the Cardinals roster all season and subsequently becomes a permanent part of the St. Louis organization.

Update, 2:36 PM – It would appear I may have spoken too soon on Komatsu. The Cardinals announced late this morning that they were designating Komatsu for assignment in order to make room on the roster for Craig to be activated from the DL. The Cardinals have 10 days to make a decision on Komatsu, be it a trade or offering to return him to the Nationals. The possibility exists that they could offer something to Washington in order to retain his rights and gain the ability to send him to the minor leagues.

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