Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats Rule-5 lossee Spring Training Update pt 1


Are the Nats gonna get Brad Meyers back? Photo Kevin Littlefield/Milb via

I was thinking about the AAA rotation and how thin it stands to be for my “updated minor league rotation” post last week, when I was reminded that we may eventually get back at least one solid AAA starter if Brad Meyers fails to make the Yankees 25-man roster.  Then, spurred on by this post reviewing all the Rule-5 draft picks so far this spring, here’s a quick look at both Meyers and Erik Komatsu, who were both taken in the Rule 5 draft last December but who both may very well end up back with the team.

  • Brad Meyers Spring Training Stats as of 3/10/12: No stats.  He reportedly injured his shoulder lifting weights over the winter and, while he’s throwing off flat ground he’s yet to appear in a game.  I’m guessing he’ll get stashed on the DL so the Yankees don’t have to immediately return him, waiting to see if they get an early season injury.

Most pundits (examples here and here) seem to think that Meyers is competing for the Long Man spot in the Yankees rotation, what with the late off-season acquisitions of both Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda filling out all 5 available starter spots for the team (not to mention the jettisoning of AJ Burnett).   It is relatively difficult to see Meyers beating out the likes of Freddie Garcia or Phil Hughes (who themselves seem to be set up to be the 5th starter and long man, depending on the outcome of spring training battles) for this spot, and the rest of the Yankees bullpen seems set.  But, without any spring training stats to go by and with his injury status up in the air, and the possibility of a DL trip looming, I’d say that its safe to say he’s not getting returned to the Nats any time soon.

How about Komatsu?

  • Erik Komatsu Spring Training Stats as of 3/10/12: .333/.385/.583 through 12 at-bats in 6 games, playing mostly right field.  He’s got a double, a triple, and a SB.  Not bad so far.

Here’s a good analysis of Komatsu by a St. Louis focused blog upon his acquisition last December; he’s clearly competing for a backup outfielder spot, what with the team’s acquisition of new RF starter Carlos Beltran (moving incumbent Lance Berkman to the vacated 1B position for 2012). The Cardinals have a clear 4th outfielder candidate in Allen Craig but Craig is injured and most likely won’t start the season with the team.  Komatsu is also competing with a couple other prospects for a backup outfielder job, but may very well stick with the team out of camp.  I’d like to see Komatsu back; he was disappointed that he didn’t get much of a shot in Washington and he was coming off an injury most of last off-season.  But at the same time this team has been looking  high and low for a possible lead-off hitter/center fielder and Komatsu could (if you squint perhaps) fill that role.

7 Responses to 'Nats Rule-5 lossee Spring Training Update pt 1'

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  1. Komatsu always seemed to me a low ceiling guy; was not that upset at losing him.
    Meyers, however is another story. I suspect all the writers in Florida don’t want to bring him up because it might upset Rizzo, who’s having a feel-good spring training.
    Exposing him was so dumb, it definitely ranks up with the Gomes trade as Mike Rizzo’s dumbest moments.

    Mark L

    12 Mar 12 at 9:13 am

  2. I found an interview of him post transaction where he said he had a stress fracture in his foot all year. As soon as the season was over, he put on a boot, it healed up and now he’s good. Might explain his poor performance here; if you looked at his stats with his previous team they were pretty good. Still, had to disagree with you. Lower ceiling, so lower loss. Was actually surprised he got picked up in Rule5.

    We all know the Meyers narrative. Its almost like Rizzo was saving (still is saving?) those open 40-man spots for some other move.

    Good future post topic; Rizzo’s best and worst moves. Hell i’ll even do Bowden’s best and worst moves; to settle an argument sometime ago I have every transaction Washington has conducted since arriving here in one place.

    Todd Boss

    12 Mar 12 at 9:52 am

  3. Best and worst Nats GM moves would be a great topic for a post, Todd, and PLEASE do include Bowden’s along with Rizzo’s. Like any solid GM, Rizzo is more hit than miss. But I can’t wait to read the collection of Bowden trainwrecks, from Elijah Dukes to Willy Mo Pena. Even some of Bowden’s good moves deserve an asterisk, like drafting Jordan Zimmermann, which was Rizzo’s idea.


    12 Mar 12 at 10:43 am

  4. This is not to defend Bowden too much, but Rizzo has 2x-3x the scouting & development budget that Bowden had.
    I think Tom Boswell said it best in that Stan Kasten spent all those years getting Ted to open up his wallet and it took Kasten leaving to finally open them up. The Lerners had egg on their faces for awhile…… it’s amazing how a good team makes memories grow shorter.

    Mark L

    12 Mar 12 at 11:48 am

  5. If you’re the president, and the economy rises, you get credit for it whether or not you had anything to do with it.

    But, yes understood Rizzo’s had a bit more in terms of resources.

    Love the idea of the best/worst trades, FA signings, draft picks. 🙂 Should be a good blog post.

    Todd Boss

    12 Mar 12 at 11:53 am

  6. That’s 3 solids posts worth, each one is too lengthy to be combined with the others.

    Mark L

    13 Mar 12 at 9:23 am

  7. Thank you for the photo credit.

    Kevin Littlefield

    16 Mar 12 at 10:16 am

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