Bucs fire athletic trainers, keep coaches
The Pirates have fired their top two athletic trainers but will keep their coaching staff intact.
All of manager Clint Hurdle's assistants -- bench coach Jeff Banister, third base coach Nick Leyva, hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, bullpen coach Euclides Rojas, pitching coach Ray Searage, first base coach Luis Silverio and major league coach Mark Strittmatter -- will return for the 2012 season, a team source said. An announcement likely will come Monday.
General manager Neal Huntington said Saturday the organization did not renew the contracts of head athletic trainer Brad Henderson and assistant Mike Sandoval, who have a combined 35 years' experience with the organization.
"In no way should they be viewed as scapegoats," Huntington said. "I want a different approach, a different skill set, a different environment in our medical department. I want a shift in philosophy in how we approach the medical side of things."
The status of strength and conditioning coordinator Frank Velasquez and physical therapist/rehab coordinator Erwin Valencia will be determined after a new head athletic trainer is hired. Velasquez, who has worked nine years for the Pirates, was asked to apply for the assistant athletic trainer job.
Henderson joined the Pirates in 2002 after working 15 years as assistant athletic trainer for the St. Louis Cardinals. In November 2008, Henderson and his Pirates staff received the Dick Martin Award, given annually to MLB's top medical staff by Baseball Prospectus.
Sandoval spent 25 years with the Pirates' organization and was named the major league club's assistant trainer/major league rehab coordinator in 2008. He was an athletic trainer in the Pirates' farm system from 1987-2000.
The Pirates were racked by injuries to several key players this season. Kevin Correia and Paul Maholm, the top two members of the starting rotation, ended the season on the 60-day disabled list. First baseman Derrek Lee and outfielder Jose Tabata played hurt for more than a week before being diagnosed with small bone fractures in their hands.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- Pirates sign 2 to minor league deals
- Pirates SS prospect Tucker making progress after thumb surgery
- Pirates starting pitcher Morton fine-tunes his delivery after surgery
- Pirates sign 9 to yearlong deals; 3 going to arbitration
- Korean star Kang could be financial windfall for Pirates