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Astros trainers win staff of the year award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Astros' athletic training staff was named the winner of the Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year for 2015 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society. The award is given annually to one Major League athletic training staff and is voted on by the full PBATS membership.

The Astros' athletic training staff consisted of head athletic trainer Nate Lucero and assistant athletic trainers Rex Jones and James Ready, who accepted their awards at the Winter Meetings. Lucero is now the assistant athletic trainer of the Dodgers, and Jones retired at the end of the season.

"Nate, Rex and James are so very deserving of this year's award," PBATS president Mark O'Neal said. "Nate and Rex have been extremely valued members of PBATS for a number of years. When they brought James on staff last year we all knew they'd have one of the best groups in the league. We're all very proud of the Astros' staff and their ability to keep their players healthy and allow them to make a great run into the 2015 MLB playoffs. We wish Nate the best in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and Rex the best of luck in his future endeavors outside of baseball."

Lucero had spent his entire career in the Astros organization, beginning with the Gulf Coast League Astros in 1993. He was the Texas League athletic trainer of the year in 2000, and in '07 joined the Astros as strength and conditioning assistant coach.

Jones spent his entire athletic training career in the Astros organization. He received the call to the Major League staff in 1994 after spending 16 years in the Astros' Minor League system, including five years as the organization's director of Minor League athletic trainers. Jones started his pro baseball career in 1978 with the Class A Daytona Beach club while still earning a bachelor's degree in physical education from Missouri State.

Ready came to Houston a year ago after spending the last three seasons as the Minor League athletic training and rehabilitation coordinator with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he was responsible for overseeing all Minor League athletic trainers and the rehabilitation of Minor League players. He spent five seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to that.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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