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 2


So long Komatsu; you've made the Cards 25-man roster. Photo Chris Lee/Stl Post Dispatch via

As has been published by both Luke Erickson/NationalsProspects and Mac/Capitolbaseball in recent days, its looking more and more likely that both our Rule 5 draftees Erik Komatsu and Brad Meyers may not be coming home any time soon.

  • Meyers has still yet to appear in a Minor League game for the Yankees, meaning the team is well within their rights to stash Meyers on the DL and keep him in their extended Spring Training while he rehabs.  This gives the team ample time to evaluate Meyers while waiting for an opportunity to call him up.  Kinda like what the Nats did with Elvin Ramirez for the entirety of the 2011 season.

As I opined here prior to the Nats failing to protect Komatsu, I thought he was worth protecting prior to last December’s rule 5 draft.  And as I’ve stated in the comments section here and there, I thought the team made a mistake not protecting him.  The Nationals STILL have not broached a full 40-man roster (they sit at 39/40 by  my count after adding Rick Ankiel this week), meaning they could have retained Komatsu and kept the trade bounty they received for Jerry Hairston last July.

Now, in a relatively not surprising, Murphy’s Law kind of way, the Nats really could use Komatsu.  Ankiel’s hurting, Bernadina has been banged up, Morse is starting the season on the DL.  The team is probably going to break camp with TWO non-roster invitees on the 25-man roster to fill outfield spots (Xavier Nady and Brett Carrol).  Its not that Komatsu was an answer for us this spring, but considering the lack of outfield depth and the failure to address the CF situation in the off-season, it seems like the team should have done a better job retaining its own outfielders this past off-season.

12 Responses to 'Nats Rule-5 lossee Spring Training Update pt 2'

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  1. Of course, since Meyers is injured (and he was injured while working out in the offseason), he wouldn’t have been pitching for Syracuse while rehabbing anyway. It’s still extremely unlikely that there is a spot on the Yankees for him if he’s healthy enough to be activated this season. So essentially the most likely possibilities are:

    (1) Meyers is healthy enough to pitch at some time this season, and the Yankees have to offer him back to the Nationals because there’s no place to put him; or

    (2) Meyers is not healthy enough to pitch at some time this season, in which case he wouldn’t be available to the Nationals anyway.

    A Rule 5 pick that was on the DL all season has to be kept on the active roster for 90 days into the next season or be offered back; you can’t finesse Rule 5 status with the DL.

    John C.

    2 Apr 12 at 10:18 am

  2. John C. is dead-on about Meyers, he’ll probably be coming back sooner rather than later.
    I always thought of Komatsu as a low ceiling guy anyways. I mean, who cried over losing Michael Martinez?
    That said, it was still incredibly dumb not putting Meyers on the 40 man.

    Mark L

    2 Apr 12 at 10:28 am

  3. Yep … looks like Meyers is getting close to being ready, as I saw that he pitched in a minor league game or two. Can’t believe he would be too pleased with being stashed on the DL all season if he’s healthy, so I’ve got to believe he’ll be coming back to the Nats soon unless the injury relapses.


    2 Apr 12 at 11:01 am

  4. As John said, I think he easily starts the season on the DL, the Yankees wait it out to see if their rotation stabilizes and Pineda comes back, and then when Meyers legitimately is ready to go he either gets returned, gets stashed in the Yankees bullpen, or the teams negotiate a trade.

    Todd Boss

    2 Apr 12 at 11:22 am

  5. Didn’t mean to imply that the Yankees could hide him all year … just meant that, as the Nats did with Ramirez, you can delay the inevitable by putting Meyers on the DL to start. Despite your two points (both of which I agree with), I’d have to think the team would rather have their guy rehabbing with their staff and not sitting in Tampa at the Yankees extended sprint training facility for the time being.

    Todd Boss

    2 Apr 12 at 11:23 am

  6. Low ceiling sure … except that the team wanted him at some point right? I’m sure the Brewers gave Rizzo a list of guys to choose from when they traded for Hairston and Rizzo chose Komatsu. To say nothing of this fact; he just made the 25-man roster of the defending World Series champs while we look to have two non-roster invitees on our opening day roster. You sure he’s still “low ceiling?” Wouldn’t you rather have Komatsu over Nady or Carrol?

    Todd Boss

    2 Apr 12 at 11:25 am

  7. I can see both sides on Komatsu. I agree that he’s “low ceiling”, but I also get that he had value to the Nats or Rizzo wouldn’t have traded for him. But ultimately I think the subject is largely academic, because Komatsu was never viewed as a “piece” for this team, just a fair prospect. The value he would have had for the Nats is certainly magnified by their sudden dearth of healthy outfielders, and I’d definitely rather have Komatsu than Nady or Carroll, but I strongly suspect that none of those three would have had any meaningful role with this team after this season anyway. So while I’d prefer to still have Komatsu, and I think it was short-sighted of Rizzo to leave him unprotected, I also think it doesn’t matter very much. By not getting Bourjos or Upton or Span or anyone else this offseason, the 2012 centerfielder was always going to be a place-filler until next offseason. (Of course, they’re talking about Harper as a CF now, but I’ll believe that when I see it.)


    2 Apr 12 at 2:47 pm

  8. I think in the grand scheme of things I agree with your take on Komatsu. I’ll be highly irritated though if he suddenly is a hot rookie for the Cards 🙂

    I think Harper can and should play CF. He’s athletic, has a great arm, and has the pace to play CF. He’ll also be infinitely more valuable if he can prove to be a good CF, allowing the team to keep Werth in RF (where he’s pretty good defensively) and stick a slow, plodding masher in LF (Morse). I hope he continues to get CF looks in AAA … of course if he does we stunt the growth/potential of Corey Brown, but then again his possible MLB obituary was written when he passed through waivers and nobody picked him up. Agree though that the team really should have gotten someone, anyone to play CF this past off-season. Maybe rizzo is just biding his time til he can sign Upton next off-season and not give up any more prospects for him. That’d play with the common knowledge that the team is really building towards 2013 instead of really trying to win in 2012.

    Todd Boss

    2 Apr 12 at 6:54 pm

  9. Who are the other FA centerfielders available next offseason? The reason I ask is that I’m just not sold on Upton. Too inconsistent, tends to play hard only when he wants to, very streaky at the plate, not an ideal leadoff hitter. I’d look at other FA’s or give Perez or Goodwin a shot before I committed a lot of money to Upton.

    I feel like the only reason the Rays haven’t traded Upton is because their hitting is already so poor that they can’t afford to give up players for prospects. Upton is good, not exceptional, but if the Rays remove even one semi-productive piece from their lineup they almost certainly eliminate themselves from playoff contention. As is, their starting pitching is so good that they could win the AL East even with that anemic lineup. Take away Upton or Pena or Longoria and the Rays become an also-ran.

    I’m sometimes struck by the similarity between the Rays and Nats. Strong starting pitching (theirs is more tested), poor hitting, superstar third basemen (I’d take Zimm, but I’m biased, and it’s still a close call), but I think we have the better bullpen. I only hope the Nats start having the same level of consistent success as the Rays.


    3 Apr 12 at 10:39 am


    Some interesting names there: Bourn, Granderson (though he has a club option that the Yankeess seem likely to exercise), Sizemore (if he was ever healthy), Victorino (Phillies would be nuts to let him go), and Upton. Byrd, Ross a couple of lesser options.

    For me, I think Harper might be the answer. If not, you wait for someone like Perez, Hood, Brown or Goodwin rise up. But none of those guys are options for 2012 or probably 2013. Well, maybe Brown.

    Todd Boss

    3 Apr 12 at 6:27 pm

  11. I can’t believe they did that to Lannan. I know it’s a business decision, but I just can’t believe they did that to him.


    4 Apr 12 at 9:16 am

  12. Pretty surprising move, indeed. I dunno if I’m as indignant as some of the other bloggers are about what the team “did” to Lannan. I think we all just assumed (certainly I did) that his salary and his longevity guaranteed him a spot in the rotation. We forgot there was still a competition. I’d be pretty pissed if I was Lannan (especially after the whole “he’s my guy” comments from your manager); but pissed at Johnson, not the organization.

    i dunno; i have some other thoughts that i’ll cull into a post.

    Todd Boss

    4 Apr 12 at 11:30 am

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