VIERA, Fla. - Just what the Nationals needed - another corner infielder/corner outfielder going down injured.
Mark DeRosa, who was scheduled to start in left field today, has been scratched from the Nats’ lineup.
The Nationals did not give a reason for DeRosa being scratched, but we do know the veteran has been battling calf cramps recently, and didn’t make yesterday’s trip to Port St. Lucie after manager Davey Johnson gave him the day off.
Xavier Nady will move from right field to left to take over for DeRosa, with Brett Carroll moving into the starting lineup in right.
Johnson has to wonder if there’s something in the water here in Viera that’s causing his outfielders and first basemen to drop like flies.
First Adam LaRoche, then Michael Morse, then Rick Ankiel, now DeRosa.
DeRosa’s injury is unfortunate, given how he’s suddenly become an important piece for the Nats. The 37-year-old was expected to platoon with LaRoche at first base to start the season, and also see time in left field with Morse out.
Also, with LaRoche’s injury history, the Nats were relying on DeRosa to be able to fill in at first should LaRoche experience a setback with his injured foot or surgically repaired shoulder.