When the Minnesota Twins designated Rule 5 selection Erik Komatsu for assignment late last week it was widely expected that the Nationals could accept him back if the Twins were unable to trade him. Late Tuesday the Washington organization did just that. Komatsu has been assigned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Komatsu had been taken in December’s Rule 5 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and was able to break camp with the team in April. He appeared at all three outfield positions for the Cardinals, batting .211/.286/.211 in 21 plate appearances over 15 games. Despite the limited playing time, he appeared to be a useful piece of the Cardinals roster that was dealing with its own injury concerns early on in the season that plagued their outfield depth. However, once some of those players started to return from injury his spot on the roster was ultimately in danger. St. Louis designated him for assignment at the beginning of May, at which point Minnesota claimed him off of waivers. With the Twins he appeared in 15 more games, batting .219/.297/.219 in 37 plate appearances.
The outfielder has hit well across his minor league career, batting a combined .302/.389/.434 over four seasons. He had never appeared above Double-A prior to this season, but it’s likely the 30 appearances will prove to be invaluable as he continues to develop in Syracuse. Komatsu could potentially see time with the Nationals at some point this season given the team’s continued need for organizational depth.