Komatsu returns, Tracy won't for a while

The Nationals are getting back outfielder Erik Komatsu, the 2011 Rule 5 pick who had stints with the Cardinals and Twins this season.

Komatsu has been assigned to Triple-A Syracuse.

The 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Brewers in exchange for Jerry Hairston Jr. last summer, was selected by the Cardinals at the Rule 5 draft during the Winter Meetings. Komatsu was subsequently let go by St. Louis and claimed off waivers by the Twins, but after playing in 15 games with Minnesota, he was designated for assignment.

Komatsu then cleared waivers, and by rule, had to be offered back to the Nationals for half of the $50,000 it cost St. Louis to draft him. The Nats accepted Komatsu back, and will get the career .302 hitter over four minor league seasons back in their system.

He hit .216 with one RBI in 58 at-bats over 30 games with the Cardinals and Twins this season.

Meanwhile, the bad injury news continues for the Nationals.

Manager Davey Johnson told reporters in Miami that Chad Tracy will need surgery to repair a torn groin muscle, a procedure which could keep him out 6-8 weeks.

Tracy has been a key reserve player for the Nats this season, hitting .265 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 55 at-bats.

The veteran corner outfielder's loss will be felt most in the late innings; he has been a major force off the bench this season and currently leads the majors in pinch-hit RBIs with nine.

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