In December the St. Louis Cardinals used the Rule 5 draft to make a strange pick from the Washington Nationals' farm system—Erik Komatsu, their 5-to-10th slap-hitting left-handed outfielder competing for space on a 25-man roster already stocked full of them. He seemed to have little chance of making the roster—which, per Rule 5 rules, would lead to his immediate return to the Syracuse Chiefs.
Now: Skip Schumaker is hurt, Komatsu hit his second triple of Spring Training on Tuesday, and with the bench in disarray Komatsu has a real shot.
The case for Komatsu is mostly legal—he's simply worth keeping around, and the only way to do it is to keep him on the roster. He might not be much better than Adron Chambers, who has an option, but Komatsu and Chambers are better than Chambers alone—and this year, at least, that might make all the difference.
More Cardinals Spring Training coverage handpicked from SB Nation St. Louis:
- Some alternate nicknames for the Cardinals' Grapefruit League slugger Matt Adams.