VIERA, Fla. - A couple of late lineup changes for the Nationals, who are taking a decidedly conservative approach with the injuries to second baseman Danny Espinosa and catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Both players were removed from the lineup originally posted for Friday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after pregame warmups.
Rodriguez, who was pulled from Tuesday's original lineup against the Mets in Port St. Lucie because of tightness in his left calf, will be replaced by Jesus Flores.
"It's tight, not sore. It's just tight. When I walk, I still feel like a little knob in there," Rodriguez said. "I was in the lineup today and I told (manager Jim Riggleman), 'I'm going to try it out,' but he don't want to take any chances."
Espinosa, who has not played since leaving Tuesday's game after fouling a ball off his right foot, will be replaced in the lineup by Brian Bixler.
"No reason to push it right now," Espinosa said. "Obviously, I need to still make the club, but showcasing myself at less than 100 percent is not good for me and is not good for the organization. ... I go out there and I can't get to a ball I'd normally get to on defense, or I can't run out a ball that I would normally run out for a base hit or beat (to avoid) a double play. That doesn't help the team."
Both players are considered day to day, will receive additional treatment and be re-evaluated Saturday.
Here's the reconfigured lineup:
CF - Nyjer Morgan
SS - Ian Desmond
RF - Jayson Werth
1B - Adam LaRoche
LF - Michael Morse
C - Jesus Flores
2B - Brian Bixler.
3B - Alberto Gonzalez
P - Jordan Zimmermann