- - Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Nationals’ 40-man roster that began spring training this week has several ties to the region.

The two most obvious are former University of Virginia products Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle. Zimmerman, a first baseman, has been with the club since 2005 while Doolittle was acquired in a trade with the Oakland A’s last summer.

They were inducted into the first University of Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame in late January. Also honored was former Virginia and big league standout Mike Cubbage, a long-time central Virginia resident who has worked as an assistant to Rizzo for several years.

The player development staff of the Nationals includes a pair of former James Madison University baseball players from the 1980s: assistant general manager Doug Harris and Jeff Garber, a minor league instructor. Harris pitched in the minors for the Bowie Baysox in the Baltimore system.

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