PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mike Matheny has given himself a good look at Rule 5 Draft pickup Erik Komatsu in the outfield this spring. Komatsu has appeared in 17 of the Cards' 20 Grapefruit League games, including Saturday's start against the Mets.
The Cards must keep Komatsu on their 25-man roster or disabled list throughout the season in order to retain control of him, or else he must be offered back to the Nationals.
Komatsu has made a nice impression on the Cards' coaching staff, as he took a .306 average (11-for-36) into Saturday. But Matheny said he's under no pressure from the higher-ups to keep Komatsu simply to retain his rights.
"I talked to [general manager John Mozeliak] early on about that," Matheny said. "I wanted to make sure what I was getting into here, if it was something we were going to be hemmed in and hand-tied. Mo was very clear that we just want the best team. The organization completely supports that. You have a lot of talented scouts out there and people watching for someone that might come in and potentially fit.
"With that being said, he's certainly proved our scouts to be right. But it's not a situation that we're obligated to if it's not what's best for this team and for us to win."