Lineups: Astros vs. Nats in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman makes his Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals tonight, playing first base and hitting fifth against the Astros.

"I was scratching my head about it, but I talked to him and he said he'd like to play today, which is nice," said manager Davey Martinez, who is well aware of the veteran's penchant for delaying his spring debut as long as possible. "We'll see three innings and hopefully get him two at-bats."

Zimmerman-Swings-Red-Home-Sidebar.jpgZimmerman came to Martinez a couple of days ago and said he wanted to start tonight, and the manager quickly put a plan into motion to accommodate that request.

Martinez wanted to make sure Zimmerman got through yesterday's workout with his legs under him before committing to today's debut. Zimmerman did and so did the skipper.

"He's been taking a lot of ground balls on his own. We've had him on the back fields," Martinez said. "Taking a lot of swings. But he feels like he's ready. He looks great. He really does. ... He looks thinner, but in really good shape."

Asdrúbal Cabrera starts today a third base, as Martinez continues to gird himself against Carter Kieboom's spring struggles at the hot corner.

Two catchers are back-to-back in the batting order, with Kurt Suzuki hitting sixth and catching right-hander Max Scherzer and Yan Gomes hitting seventh and serving as the designated hitter.

Scherzer, who worked two innings in Saturday's exhibition opener before the heavens opened up, is expected to go three innings tonight. Martinez is hoping he can increase his pitch count to 40-50 in his second spring start.

HOUSTON ASTROS vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Where: FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB Network
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Weather: Sunny, 63 degrees, wind 9 mph, left field to right field

ASTROS

DH George Springer
SS Jeremy Pena
1B Yuli Gurriel
3B Abraham Toro
C Garrett Stubbs
LF Chas McCormick
CF Drew Ferguson
RF Stephen Wrenn
2B Alex DeGoti

RHP Cristian Javier

NATIONALS

RF Adam Eaton
3B Asdrúbal Cabrera
LF Juan Soto
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
DH Yan Gomes
CF Michael A. Taylor
SS Wilmer Difo

RHP Max Scherzer

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