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Washington Nationals Minors: Big week for the Keister family

Joe Ross will start for Harrisburg on Tuesday while the son of the Senators’ manager is part of a historic season for the University of Maryland.

Akron Aeros Vs. Harrisburg Senators 8-18-2011

These are pretty heady times for Tripp Keister, the manager of Double-A Harrisburg in the Washington system.

And it is not just because veteran right-handed pitcher Joe Ross is slated to start in a rehab outing on Tuesday on City Island for the Senators.

Kevin Keister, the son of Tripp, is a starting second baseman for the University of Maryland.

The nationally-ranked Terps are 44-10 and won the regular-season title in the Big 10 Conference – the first conference title in 50 years for the program.

Maryland will be the No. 1 seed and will play Indiana on Wednesday when the conference tourney begins in Omaha.

The younger Keister is batting .304 with an OPS of .957 with eight homers and 38 RBI; he has been successful on all four steal tries.

Kevin Keister started at second base in a home game on May 17 against James Madison in a non-conference game.

The starting second baseman for the Dukes in that game was Nick Zona, the son of long-time Washington scout Jeff Zona.

As for his father – the elder Keister informed Federal Baseball on Monday that the first three starters for the series this week against Altoona will be Ross, Steven Fuentes, and Ronald Herrera.

The last appearance in the majors for Ross was on August 10 of last year in a suspended game against the New York Mets.

The native of California has made 76 starts since 2015 for the Nationals. That is the most of any African-American pitcher for Washington since the team moved to the nation’s capital in 2005.

Second on the list is Edwin Jackson with 44 while current pitcher Josiah Gray is third with 21 through Sunday.

Fuentes, who turned 25 earlier this month, is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.55 in seven starts this year for Harrisburg.

Herrera, who turned 27 on May 3, has made eight starts for Harrisburg and is 3-2, 4.17 with a WHIP of 1.06.

Also on Tuesday, Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start for Single-A Fredericksburg in a home game against the Salem Red Sox.

The manager for Fredericksburg is Jake Lowery, a former catcher in the Washington system who grew up in the Richmond area and played at James Madison University.

Triple-A Rochester manager Matt LeCroy informed Federal Baseball on Monday that his first five starters for the series that begins Tuesday at Syracuse will be Logan Verrett on Tuesday, Cory Abbott on Wednesday, Sterling Sharp on Thursday, Jackson Tetreault on Friday, and Cade Cavalli (6.75 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) on Saturday.

Sharp, who made his Major League debut with the Marlins, turns 27 on May 30.

The weekly Luis García Watch: García is hitting .329 for Rochester with .963 OPS.