PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was scheduled to play against the Mets on Tuesday afternoon, but he was scratched because of a strained abdominal muscle.
The injury is not considered serious, but manager Jim Riggleman didn't want to take a chance of the injury getting worse.
"[Zimmerman] said, 'I can play,'" Riggleman said. "But it's too early in the spring to put him on the bus and bring him down here to play."
Riggleman doesn't believe Zimmerman needs a lot of Spring Training at-bats to get ready for the regular season.
"I don't want him to sit when he needs to be in there, but he is pretty sharp right now, and I'm certainly not going to put him out there with the slightest [injury] going," Riggleman said. "This injury is the type of thing where he would have to play through during the regular season. But there is no need to play through it on March 8."
Zimmerman has played five games this spring and is 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs and six RBIs.