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2017 Nationals Spring Training Dates: Schedule, Opponents, location

2017 Nationals Spring Training Dates: Schedule, Opponents, location

Looking to pick up where they left last season, the Washington Nationals will begin their quest toward the 2017 World Series when 2017 Spring Training begins in February.

Coming off their 2016 NL East championship with NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, the Nationals first step will be the Grapefruit League and spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

It will be the Nationals their first chance to work newly aquired veteran catcher, Derek Norris with their pitching staff after longtime starter Wilson Ramos left to join the Blue Jays.

The teams has also yet to aquire another closer this off-season, leaving Mark Melancon as the team's top option in 2017.

In the Grapefruit League, Washington will play fellow division rivals the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins. Also in the league are the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Last season the Nationals made the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the NL, before losing to the NL West champions Los Angeles Dodgers. 

RELATED: NATIONALS REGULAR SEASON OUTLOOK

Important Nationals 2017 Spring Training Dates: 

Spring Training Location: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Pitchers and Catchers Report: Feb. 14

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb. 16

Position Players Report: Feb. 17

First Full Workout: Feb. 19

Spring Training Opener: Feb. 25 @ New York Mets

Click here for Nationals' full Spring Training Schedule

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC