- Associated Press
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. | Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and catcher Ivan Rodriguez were scratched from the Washington Nationals’ lineup Tuesday night with injuries that likely will sideline the All-Stars for four or five days.

Rodriguez tweaked his left calf while working out before the game against the New York Mets. Zimmerman was pulled because of tightness in his right groin.

The problems are not expected to prevent the Gold Glovers from being ready for the season opener on March 31 against Atlanta.

“Hope it’s only a couple of days,” manager Jim Riggleman said.

Zimmerman missed a few games last week because of a strain on his side. This latest setback is not thought to be related to that previous injury.

“We’ll be real careful about how we bring him back,” Riggleman said. He added Zimmerman typically doesn’t think he needs a lot of at-bats in spring training to get ready.

Had this occurred during the regular season, Riggleman said, Zimmerman probably would have played. Rodriguez, however, would have sat out with this ailment.

Rodriguez was on the field early by himself, continuing to prepare for his 21st season in the majors. He hurt himself while jogging and stretching in the outfield.

The 39-year-old Rodriguez played 111 games last season and has won a record 13 Gold Gloves at catcher.

Minus Zimmerman and Rodriguez, the Nationals were left with a thinner-than-usual lineup for a road spring training game. In general, teams try to bring at least four starters when they travel for exhibition games.

Riggleman said he’d tell Mets manager Terry Collins he was sorry for the diminished lineup that had Jerry Hairston Jr. batting third.

“You don’t want to be disrespectful to the fans,” Riggleman said. “But that’s what happened.”

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