It’s a new year and that means spring training is around the corner. This year, the Nationals will report to a new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., slightly earlier than usual: Pitchers and catchers will report Feb. 14, and position players will report Feb. 17.
Last year, the entire Nationals roster had to report by Feb. 23. Why are teams reporting earlier this year? Because the World Baseball Classic, the fourth in history, will disrupt spring training. The WBC’s first game — Israel vs. Korea in Seoul — is scheduled for March 6. Games in the Western Hemisphere begin on March 9 in Miami and Jalisco, Mexico.
Three Washington players have been confirmed to participate in the tournament. Right-hander Max Scherzer and second baseman Daniel Murphy will play for Team USA, and left-hander Oliver Perez will suit up for Mexico. WBC players are allowed to leave their teams to return to spring training between rounds.
The Nationals open their Grapefruit League schedule on Feb. 25 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and conclude the exhibition slate March 30 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. They open the regular season April 3 against the Marlins at Nationals Park.
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