On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 2016 training staff. It’s headlined by the former manual and performance therapist of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Neil Rampe, who will be taking over as the Dodgers’ head athletic trainer.
Also joining Rampe as new employees of the Dodgers organization are Thomas Albert and Nathan Lucero, both of whom will be assistant athletic trainers.
From the Los Angeles Dodgers’ (@Dodgers) official Twitter account:
The Dodgers announce their 2016 training staff, led by Neil Rampe pic.twitter.com/03rt8nUDFa
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 27, 2016
Staying on the staff with their same roles from 2015 are Steve Smith, who is a physical therapist, Yosuke Nakajima, who is a massage therapist, and Brandon McDaniel, who is the strength and conditioning coach.
While Rampe joins the team from a division rival, Albert joins the team after four seasons as the rehab coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. Lucero was with the Houston Astros for 23 seasons, with the last seven coming as the head athletic trainer.
Training staffs are probably the most overlooked part of a team, but also probably one of the most important. They’re the ones who help keep the players in tip-top shape while getting the maximum amount of effort and production out of them.
It’s great to see that the Dodgers brought back three of the staff members from last season, but it’s also great to see that they didn’t shy away from integrating three people who were in other organizations last season. That extra knowledge and help could be beneficial.
The full press release is below, so be sure to check it out and see the full backgrounds of each person. It’s quite extensive.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their training staff for the 2016 season, with the additions of Neil Rampe as head athletic trainer and Nathan Lucero and Thomas Albert as assistant athletic trainers. Brandon McDaniel (strength & conditioning coach, fourth season), Steve Smith (physical therapist, fifth season) and Yosuke “Possum” Nakajima (massage therapist, second season) will return to the club in their same roles as 2015.Rampe spent the past eight seasons with the Diamondbacks as the manual and performance therapist, holding that role since 2008. The Kalida, Ohio, native graduated from the University of Findlay (Ohio) in 2000 with two Bachelor’s degrees in Athletic Training and Physical Education with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning. He went on to receive his Master’s degree in Applied Kinesiology with a Sport and Exercise Science emphasis from the University of Minnesota in 2002, while serving as the assistant strength and conditioning coach in the Golden Gophers’ athletic department. He then served as a certified athletic trainer at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, from 2002-03 and then spent five years at the University of Arizona from 2003-07 as the associate director of performance enhancement.Lucero spent 23 seasons with the Astros, the past seven as the head athletic trainer for the Major League club. Prior to his promotion to head trainer in 2009, he served as the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator for the Astros from 2007-08. The Villanueva, New Mexico, native spent 14 years in the Astros’ minor league system before joining the big league club, serving as the club’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator from 2002-06 and as an athletic trainer with the GCL Astros (1993-94), Quad Cities (1995-97), Kissimmee (1998) Jackson (1999) and Round Rock (2000-01), where he earned Texas League Trainer of the Year honors in 2000. Lucero graduated from New Mexico State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training.Albert joins the Dodgers following four seasons in the Indians’ organization as rehab coordinator. Prior to his time in the Cleveland organization, he spent three years at Physiotherapy Associates in Tempe, Arizona, and also worked as an athletic trainer for the Harlem Globetrotters from 2002-08. Albert received his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training from Upper Iowa University, where he played basketball, and earned a doctrate in Physical Therapy from A.T. Still University in Missouri.