March 19, 2012; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Erik Komatsu (82) steals second base as the ball gets away from Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons during the top of the sixth inning of a spring training game at Disney Wide World of Sports complex. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
According to reports out of St. Louis by both MLB.com writer Jennifer Langosch and St. Louis Today writer Derrick Goold, the St. Louis Cardinals today designated 24-year-old former Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals' outfield prospect Erik Komatsu for assignment in order to make room for the return of 26-year-old outfielder Allen Craig, who's coming back from off season knee surgery. Komatsu, an '08 8th Round pick by the Brewers, was acquired by the Nats in a July 30, 2011 deal that sent IF/OF Jerry Hairston to Milwaukee. After putting up a .234/.298/.297 line in 31 games and 142 plate appearances at Double-A Harrisburg late last season, Komatsu was left unprotected and was selected by St. Louis in the Rule 5 Draft.
As per the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, the Cardinals had to keep Komatsu on their major league roster this season in order to retain his services, St. Louis Today's Mr. Goold explains what happens now:
"Komatsu, a Rule 5 selection, will pass through waivers before the Cardinals must offer him back to his former team, the Washington Nationals.
"The 28 other teams will have the opportunity to pick up Komatsu and, per Rule 5 requirements, place him on their 25-man active roster.
"The Cardinals can also work out a trade with the Nationals to retain the rights of Komatsu and then option him to Class AAA Memphis."
Komatsu made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster after putting up a .278/.333/.389 line this Spring for St. Louis. In 15 games and 21 plate appearances this season, Komatsu has a .211/.286/.211 line with no extra base hits thus far.