The Washington Times - April 24, 2012, 06:36PM

SAN DIEGO — The Washington Nationals will open their six-game west coast trip tonight in San Diego but they’ll do it without third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup. Zimmerman was a late scratch from Saturday’s game with right shoulder inflammation and was not scheduled to play in Sunday’s rained-out game.

Zimmerman said Sunday morning that he didn’t “see any reason right now why I won’t play Tuesday.”

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Obviously it’s not a great sign that Zimmerman is, in fact, not in the lineup as he’d expected. Mark DeRosa, who is 3-for-30 this season, takes his spot in the No. 3-hole in the lineup and Steve Lombardozzi gets the start at third base.

The clubhouse will open shortly and we’ll find out the reasoning behind Zimmerman sitting again today but before the alarm bells begin to ring too loudly, it’s important to remember that Nationals manager Davey Johnson prefers to take any kind of injury along slowly. In general, his rule is that anyone dealing with any type of injury must go through a full workout in front of him on a day before he’ll slot them back into the lineup. 

Still, Zimmerman has had three straight days to rest the shoulder so it’s at least a little concerning that his name is missing.

The Nationals are facing a left-hander tonight, Clayton Richard, so DeRosa and Xavier Nady are in the corner outfield spots with Jayson Werth in center — which is the outfield alignment we’ve seen in the Nationals’ two previous games vs. lefty starters.

Here are the full lineups with Gio Gonzalez on the hill for the Nationals:

Nationals

Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Mark DeRosa RF
Jayson Werth CF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Xavier Nady LF
Wilson Ramos C
Steve Lombardozzi 3B
Gio Gonzalez P

Padres

Chris Denorfia LF
Will Venable RF
Chase Headley 3B
Nick Hundley C
Cameron Maybin CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Yonder Alonso 1B
Jason Bartlett SS
Clayton Richard P