Ryan Zimmerman a late scratch from today’s game (updated with diagnosis)

Ryan Zimmerman was written into today’s lineup. He was scheduled to hit third and play third base. He was introduced with the Nats’ starters to the crowd here at Nationals Park.

But Zimmerman wasn’t the guy standing at third when Stephen Strasburg threw his first pitch of today’s game.

Zimmerman has been scratched from today’s game, with Mark DeRosa taking over at third base and replacing the Nationals All-Star in the three-hole in Davey Johnson’s lineup.

No reason has yet been announced for Zimmerman’s absence, although it’s probably fair to assume it’s related to him fouling a ball off his left ankle during last night’s game.

Zimmerman stayed in the game and played a full nine innings, but was clearly in some pain after the foul ball landed square on his ankle. He dropped to a knee for a minute before walking it off.

Asked before today’s game how Zimmerman was feeling today, manager Davey Johnson didn’t give any indication that Zimmerman was hurting.

“I don’t even ask about Zim getting hurt,” Johnson said. “I’ll probably give him tomorrow off to give him two days. He probably won’t like that.”

UPDATE: Turns out, it wasn’t the ankle which led to Zimmerman being scratched from today’s lineup.

Zimmerman was scratched due to mild right shoulder inflammation, according to the team.

Per a team spokesman, there is “no structural damage in the least” to Zimmerman’s shoulder.

We’ll know more after the game.

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