PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Nationals' lineup for tonight's game against the Mets, which looked reasonably close to one they might field during the regular season, is down a couple veterans.
Ryan Zimmerman did not make the trip from Viera for the 7:10 p.m. start because of a groin injury; the third baseman told Riggleman he likely needs a couple days off, but Riggleman said he will sit Zimmerman for four or five days to be safe.
Ivan Rodriguez, who was supposed to catch tonight and made the trip, injured his left calf jogging before the game. He was scratched in favor of Jesus Flores, and will miss a couple days.
Zimmerman will likely be out of the lineup longer, but his injury sounds less serious; Riggleman said if it was the regular season, the third baseman would likely play. He's only had 22 at-bats this spring, but he's not high on the list of players who need to get heavy work.
The scratches did leave the Nationals with a thinner lineup heading on the road; for that, Riggleman said he was thinking about going over to Mets manager Terry Collins and apologizing.
"You go on the road in spring training and only bring two starters, that's disrespectful to the fans," Riggleman said. "You never want to do that. But that's kind of what we ended up with."
Here is the Nationals' new lineup:
Bernadina - RF
Desmond - SS
Hairston - 3B
LaRoche - 1B
Morse - LF
Ankiel - CF
Flores - C
Espinosa - 2B
Gorzelanny - P