Cardinals Designate Erik Komatsu For Assignment

The Cardinals designated outfielder Erik Komatsu for assignment,'s Jenifer Langosch reports. The move creates 25-man roster space for Allen Craig, who's returning from the disabled list.

The Cardinals selected Komatsu from the Nationals in last winter's Rule 5 draft. St. Louis now has ten days to determine the 24-year-old's fate. The Cardinals could work out a trade with the Nationals that would allow them to keep Komatsu, they could return him to Washington, or he could be claimed by a third team. Komatsu appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals, playing all three outfield positions. He has a .302/.389/.434 line in four seasons as a minor leaguer.

22 Responses to Cardinals Designate Erik Komatsu For Assignment Leave a Reply

  1. Bryan 3 years ago


    • TheLoLgen 3 years ago

      Erik Komatsu

      From what I’ve seen in his short stretch of games for the Cardinals, he’s an outfielder that can handle CF well.  He has above-average speed, and his tool set fits him as a centerfielder.  He hits mainly for contact, with occasional, if not rare, gap shots.  However, his contact ability is good, and he strikes out seldomly because of hitting the ball consistently.  As a bench player, he is adept at working the count in pinch hit situations, and as a pinch runner, can easily go from first to third on any hit.  He is capable of swiping 20 bases a season, with perhaps 30 doubles, a few triples, and a few home runs.  Paired with this and a projectable .280 average, he makes for a passable starter that, at 24, has value to a contending team in need of a 4th outfielder, or even a rebuilding team as a fill-in starter and, and potentially, long-term producer.

  2. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Would like to see the Cardinals work out a trade to keep him. He’s been solid and is at worst a nice 4th outfielder.

  3. toddb88 3 years ago

    I agree, Komatsu has been a great hitter in the Minors and has a bright future. The Cards should really try to keep him to bolster the farm system once again.

  4. chico65 3 years ago

    At first I thought maybe it was too many k’s, but he has just the two

  5. Tonyhan9 3 years ago

    I too think the Cards should do their best to keep him in the organization. Of course if a team picks him up through waivers, there is nothing they can do. It’s important to understand the guy never played above AA, and though he didn’t rake in the bigs, he did/does have value. A year or so against AAA pitchers the guy could be useful to the Cards.

  6. The Cardinals franchise is doing ok w/ CF prospects: Shane Robinson, Adron Chambers, Cedric Hunter and now super prospect, Oscar Taveras in AA (1.044 OPS at 19 in AA.) Good for Komatsu- increasing his worth and deserving of a spot on someone’s 40 man going forward.

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      Taveras will more than likely shift to a corner before he gets to the bigs. None of the others are too special to pass on Komatsu over. They would be wise to try to keep him.

      • He’s just as likely to stay in CF as move in the next two seasons… moving him off that position is just complete speculation at this point. Shane Robinson is right handed and Jon Jay is simply a better player than Komatsu. The Cardinals are very wise to keep Robinson on this club and EK is w/o question– replaceable on the dept chart.

        • stl_cards16 3 years ago

          “Taveras can play all 3 OF spots at this time, but doesn’t have elite speed. It doesn’t translate on the base paths and the lack of the true elite speed tool almost certainly lands Taveras in a corner OF spot with RF the primary options.
          He has a solid average arm and while it’s not elite either, it’s more than enough to sway runners from taking the extra base and his range in RF should play up well.”

          – Baseball Instinct

          Jon Jay is onviously better right now, that’s why he is the starter.  My point still stands that there is no one in the Cardinals system that should make them not want Komatsu.  He is a good player with a decent ceiling.  If it’s not going to cost much, I think they should keep him in AAA.  He would be great insurance behind Jay for this year.

          • His (Taveras’) speed/routes/arm is every-bit as good as Jay’s and I have clocked him personally out of the box to 1B consistently at 4 seconds just the other day down in Springfield- also you don’t need elite speed to play CF– especially when you have an elite bat.

            The kid is far from a finished product defensively and nothing in his game today is pushing him off that position. Like I said- He’s currently just as likely to stay at that position than move. Have you even seen him play?… you might want too, IMO. You also might walk away w/ another view on him after seeing him play in 2012 and not need to pull so obscure article on him from someone that might not even seen him play in-person.

            Cost much? It cost having him on the 25 man roster all year to own his rights- he’s not good enough player for that to happen this year, IMO. Pretty expensive price for me… considering you have pretty much the same player in Chambers down in AAA.

          • stl_cards16 3 years ago

            If they TRADE for him he can be sent to AAA, thus not on the 25-man.  That’s what the whole article is about.  I’m not saying they should have kept him over Robinson, Jay, or anyone else on the roster.  I’m saying they should look into trading for him so they can option him down.

            Anyway, yes I have seen Taveras play.  How he handles CF now has little to do with how he will handle CF when he fills out in 3-4 years down the road.  His speed is suitable for CF today but as he grows/matures/adds more muscle mass, his ability to play CF probably goes down. That’s not the only scouting report I’ve seen that suggests he’ll move to a corner.  It’s a pretty common belief and I trust scouts that project players for a living over someone that says “well I watched him play”.

            I never said it was a sure thing he wouldn’t be in CF.  Obviously he has more value if he can stick so they will try to keep him there.  But if he bulks up and adds the power they project, he may be better suited for a corner.  He is so far away it’s hard to project where he ends up, which helps the case to keep a guy like Komatsu even more.

  7. Seals 3 years ago

    I agree with Joe. I don’t think the Cardinals have room for him. He and Adron Chambers have very similar talents and both bat left-handed.

  8. Van Sullins 3 years ago

    Komatsu is very talented and a good player, but I’m thinking the Cards are gonna give Craig a chance to see if he shines like he did last year in the playoffs.

  9. mgsports 3 years ago

    Will any of those be starters?

  10. johnsmith4 3 years ago

    Strange how Cards DFAed Komatsu.  He still has optionally assignments and it doesn’t look like Cards need to make room for anyone on their 40-man roster.

  11. DT Flush234 3 years ago

    Komatsu has some talent. Someone will claim him just because off his above average speed and he can play all three OF positions. Hope the Cardinals work out a trade to keep him though.

  12. boboto4 3 years ago

    Holliday(not going anywhere for a while) Carpenter, Robinson, Jay, Chambers, Taveras, Schumaker, Craig, Beltran. We have all these guys and more but I still want them to hold on to Komatsu. Seems like he will develop into a pretty good 4th outfielder and pinch hit/utility player, but it may be for somebody else.

    • Matt Talken 3 years ago

      The four of those names with the biggest bats can’t handle CF though (well, Beltran can in limited time), and the other four don’t necessarily have the offensive potential to make Komatsu redundant.

      That’s not to say Komatsu is a likely all-star either, but sometimes quantity is a valuable tool in a farm system almost as much as quality is.  If you can’t get one “can’t miss” guy, get five “maybes” and hope you can identify and give innings to the ones who will produce the most.

  13. Komatsu’s best tool is speed. He is a contact hitter that does have the ability to drive the ball occasionally. He hit in the three hole most of his career in the minors. I think 7-12 homeruns would be a reasonable expectation if he were to get a full season as a regular in the Majors.

    The fact of the matter is, that opportunity wont come to the Cardinals. He is only capable of being a full-time starter with a lower end Major League team.

    That said, I am not totally against keeping Komatsu. I would like to have him as a backup outfielder, as he is a better player with a brighter future than Chambers or Shane Robinson.

    How much the Nationals expect in return for Komatsu is the real issue. Keep in mind they are looking for a long-term answer in Centerfield. Although somewhat unlikely, if Komatsu had a solid spring in Nats camp next year, it is possible they could give him a shot at being that guy. Keep in mind that Komatsu is a former top prospect.

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