The A's on Monday filled their head trainer spot, bringing Nick Paparesta on board to replace Steve Sayles, whose contract was not renewed after a season in which the oft-injured A's used the disabled list 23 times.
Paparesta served as Tampa Bay's assistant trainer the past three seasons and had spent five years total in the Rays organization, the first two coming as Minor League head trainer and rehabilitation coordinator. He was promoted to join the Rays' big league staff in 2008, when he was a member of Tampa Bay's American League championship team.
Paparesta's experience also extends to the Cleveland Indians organization, where he spent 11 seasons before moving on to Tampa Bay. He is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and holds certifications by the National Athletic Trainers' Association and National Strength and Conditioning Association.
As expected, the A's also announced that assistant trainer Walt Horn will return in his same capacity for a fourth season. The 2011 campaign will mark his 34th year in the A's organization, as he spent the first 30 in Oakland's Minor League system.
Together, Paparesta and Horn will look to combat an injury bug that has plagued the A's for several seasons. In Sayles' three years as head athletic trainer, the team used the DL 65 times, the most recent which saw the 23 injured A's players combine to miss a franchise-record 1,426 games.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.