2023 spring training schedule brings sense of normalcy

It’s been some time since the Nationals (or any Major League Baseball club) has experienced a normal, full spring training, not since 2019 to be precise, after the pandemic threw a wrench into plans for both the 2020 and 2021 camps and the league’s lockout of players delayed and shortened the annual event in 2022.

With Wednesday’s announcement of the 2023 Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules, MLB affirmed its intent to get back to normal next spring, something the Nats certainly will appreciate.

The Nationals’ exhibition opener is scheduled for Feb. 25 against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., with the finale slated for March 26 against the Marlins, also in Jupiter, just a short drive from their camp in West Palm Beach.

In between are 29 total games in Florida, including 15 designated home games at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, where the Nats will train for the sixth consecutive year. They’ll play three road games in their home park against the Astros, their cohabitants since the facility opened in 2017.

For each of the last two springs, Florida-based teams faced only those who trained on their same side of the state, reducing travel and potential coronavirus spread. They’ll go back to facing a broader group of opponents next spring, which in the Nationals’ case means home-and-home series with the Yankees (who train in Tampa) and Tigers (who train in Lakeland).

There’s also a March 9 exhibition game against a non-MLB opponent: one of the participants in next spring’s World Baseball Classic, which returns after a five-year hiatus. The opponent will be named later, but it will come from the five-team pool set to play opening-round games in Miami: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Israel, plus one more qualifying nation.

The Nationals haven’t announced reporting dates yet, but pitchers and catchers typically begin formal workouts about 10 days before the Grapefruit League opener, with position players joining them about five days later.

The team also has yet to announce if it will be playing its traditional exhibition game at Nationals Park prior to its March 30 opening day game against the Braves.

Here’s the full announced Grapefruit League schedule, with start times still TBA:

Feb. 25 vs. Cardinals in Jupiter
Feb. 26 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach and Mets in Port St. Lucie
Feb. 28 vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach
March 1 vs. Yankees in Tampa
March 2 vs. Marlins in West Palm Beach
March 3 vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie
March 4 vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach
March 5 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach
March 7 vs. Marlins in Jupiter
March 8 vs. Tigers in Lakeland
March 9 vs. WBC in West Palm Beach
March 10 vs. Marlins in West Palm Beach
March 11 vs. Mets in West Palm Beach
March 12 vs. Cardinals in Jupiter
March 13 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach
March 14 vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie
March 15 vs. Marlins in Jupiter
March 16 vs. Mets in West Palm Beach
March 17 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach
March 18 vs. Marlins in West Palm Beach
March 19 vs. Tigers in West Palm Beach
March 20 vs. Mets in West Palm Beach
March 21 vs. Cardinals in Jupiter
March 22 vs. Yankees in West Palm Beach
March 23 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach
March 24 vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach
March 25 vs. Astros in West Palm Beach
March 26 vs. Marlins in Jupiter

Game 131 lineups: Nats vs. Athletics
Sánchez turns back time with first win since 2020 ...
 

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/