Twins add former Rays, A's AT Paparesta as head athletic trainer

October 27th, 2022

The Twins moved quickly to fill their most significant offseason staff vacancy, announcing the hiring of Nick Paparesta as their new head athletic trainer on Thursday. Paparesta, who most recently served as the A’s head athletic trainer for 12 seasons, will replace Michael Salazar, who was dismissed following the regular season.

Injuries played a significant role in the Twins’ disappointing third-place outcome in ‘22, with the club placing second in the Majors with 2,363 player-days lost to the injured list, including 19 players on the IL to finish the season.

Though president of baseball operations Derek Falvey attributed some of that to bad luck following the campaign, he also indicated that the Twins will hope to work with their new athletic trainer to put their players in a better state of physical readiness entering Spring Training as a preventative measure against soft-tissue injuries.

“There’s some luck that plays in, but we can’t just chalk everything up to luck and hope for the best,” Falvey said earlier this month. “We need some good luck for sure on that side of it. We’ve had that at different junctures in the past, but we haven’t over the last year, so that’s one. The other part is the preventable side… it’s about offseason work, it’s about planning, preparation, going into March or February and feeling like we’re in a position where we are pushing guys.”

Paparesta brings 28 years of experience as an athletic trainer in baseball, including 11 years with the Cleveland organization, five years with Tampa Bay and, most recently, the 12 years leading the department in Oakland.

Significantly, Paparesta’s time with the Rays overlapped with current Twins manager Rocco Baldelli’s playing career in Tampa Bay, when Paparesta first served as Minor League athletic trainer and rehabilitation coordinator before moving to an assistant athletic trainer role on the Major League staff in the final years of Baldelli’s on-field tenure.

Paparesta was the head athletic trainer of the American League team for the 2017 All-Star Game and led the training staff in Oakland in ‘19 that was named Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

Paparesta will be the fourth head athletic trainer to work under this front office leadership, following Dave Pruemer, Tony Leo and Salazar.