PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the Nationals' lineup less than an hour before first pitch of tonight's game against the Phillies in what was described by a team spokesman as a "manager's decision."
Chad Tracy will start in Zimmerman's place, batting third and playing third base. Zimmerman could be available to come off the bench to pinch-hit, according to the spokesman.
Zimmerman spent two weeks on the disabled list earlier this season with inflammation in his right shoulder but returned on May 8 and had been swinging a potent bat in recent days. Over his last five games, he's hitting .348 with a homer and three RBI.
The late scratch leaves the Nationals with a less-than-ideal lineup against Phillies ace Roy Halladay. Already missing Michael Morse, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos due to injuries, manager Davey Johnson will now have to use Tracy (his top pinch-hitter) as his third baseman and No. 3 hitter.