WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, the Cardinals designated outfielder Erik Komatsu for assignment. In 15 big league games, Komatsu was 4-for 19 (.211) for St. Louis.
The Cardinals selected Komatsu, 24, in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft from the Nationals in December. A baseball source said the Nationals would take Komatsu back if he was offered by the Cardinals.
Komatsu was acquired by the Nationals last July in the trade that sent infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Brewers. Komatsu was Milwaukee's Minor League Player of the Year in 2010, when he hit .323 with five home runs and 63 RBIs for Class A-Advanced Brevard County. He is projected to play center field and become a leadoff hitter in the future.
Prior to the trade to Washington, Komatsu played for Double-A Huntsville, hitting .294 with six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .393 on-base percentage. After the trade, Komatsu was assigned to Double-A Harrisburg and hit .234 with a home run and eight RBIs.
Zimmerman planning to hit off tee on Friday
WASHINGTON -- According to manager Davey Johnson, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, on the 15-day disabled list because of an inflamed right shoulder, is going to hit off a tee on Friday.
If things go well, Zimmerman hopes to play in a big league game by Tuesday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Johnson is willing to have Zimmerman return without going on a rehab assignment.
"I'll take him cold turkey," Johnson said.
Zimmerman is not having problems throwing the baseball. He has taken infield practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. His biggest program has been swinging the bat.
"He is throwing and doing all that. He feels great, but he still has to wait and make sure he gets by this injury," Johnson said.
Wang to start next for Double-A Harrisburg
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is expected to pitch to five to six innings, or throw 75 pitches, for Double-A Harrisburg on Thursday.
Wang will then get one more start before the Nationals determine if he is ready to return to the big leagues. Wang has yet to play in a big league game this season because of a left hamstring strain suffered against the Yankees on March 15.
Manager Davey Johnson still hasn't decided if Wang will return to the rotation as the fifth starter. Currently, Ross Detwiler is in that role, and he has been one of Washington's best pitchers, going 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.