Best in the League, Part II
Brett Nicholas and Neil Ramirez weren’t the only RoughRiders honored last month for a stellar 2013 season. The two Frisco stalwarts were named post-season All-Stars at the DH and pitcher positions, respectively, and they’ve now got some company.
Company that’s going to have to clear a bit more space on his mantle.
Last month Frisco’s Carlos Olivas was named “Athletic Trainer of the Year” for the Texas League for the second straight season by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). This is a tremendous honor and Carlos is incredibly deserving of the award. He does a terrific job caring for the players and keeping them healthy and on the field.
A trainer from each minor league is chosen for an award in addition to a minor league coordinator and at the Winter Meetings, the “Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year” will be elected by PBATS members. Carlos was one of two trainers in the Rangers organization to win an award; the other was Alex Rodriguez of the Dominican Summer League Rangers.
Here’s the full list of award-winning trainers:
League: Winner: Organization:
|Coordinator||Jay Williams||San Francisco Giants|
|International League||Jeff Allred||Washington Nationals|
|Pacific Coast League||Eric Ortega||San Francisco Giants|
|Eastern League||Scott DiFrancesco||New York Yankees|
|Southern League||Charles Leddon||Cincinnati Reds|
|Texas League||Carlos Olivas||Texas Rangers|
|Florida State League||Alan Rail||Minnesota Twins|
|California League||Grand Hufford||Houston Astros|
|Carolina League||Patrick Wesley||Baltimore Orioles|
|Midwest League||Chris Tomashoff||Tampa Bay Rays|
|South Atlantic League||Mark Keiser||Kansas City Royals|
|New York – Penn League||Jason Schwartzman||Detroit Tigers|
|Northwest League||Reggie Mugrue||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Appalachian League||Kiyoshi Tada||New York Mets|
|Pioneer League||John Duff||Colorado Rockies|
|Arizona League||Clete Sigwart||Cincinnati Reds|
|Gulf Coast League||Philip Mastro||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Dominican Summer||Alex Rodriguez||Texas Rangers|
PBATS President Richie Bancells had this to say upon the announcement of the winners:
“These 18 athletic trainers stood out in 2013 as the best in their respective leagues, and I am so honored that they all showed the dedication and professionalism it takes to keep their players on the field. These fine gentlemen represent the bright future that lies ahead for PBATS.”
Carlos is back home in New Mexico, but I asked him a few questions over e-mail about winning the award.
Alex Vispoli: What does it mean to you to have won this award for the second straight year?
Carlos Olivas: It was definitely a surprise when I heard. It is a testament to the program we run and I give credit to Eric McMahon for his part in the sports medicine team. I am honored to be voted the winner for 2 straight years.
AV: Why do you think your work has been recognized once again as exemplary?
CO: We try to keep current with what we do as far as injury prevention and rehabilitation. Our players play a big role believing in what we are doing and following through with our programs. Having a medical team of doctors available for visiting teams and giving them the same access we have is huge. I always try to communicate with the visiting athletic trainers on a daily basis to make sure they have everything they need.
AV: Has anyone within the Rangers organization congratulated you on winning?
CO: I have heard from numerous people congratulating me.
AV: How was this past season from your perspective as an athletic trainer? Any unique or important challenges?
CO: It was overall a very good year. We only had a few major injuries and kept DL time to a minimum. We try to spend a lot of time on prevention and catching small injuries early before they turn into something big. Lower body muscular injuries (hamstring, groin) are always tricky because they tend to nag. Every year is a challenge with the amount of turnover with players in the minor leagues. We are constantly gaining new players with new sets of challenges.
AV: Does this qualify as a dynasty/do you have enough pictures of someone to ensure a third straight win?
CO: I have pictures of everyone…including you, Vispoli.
To learn more about Carlos and what he does as a minor league athletic trainer, take a listen to this interview I did with him back in July for the radio broadcast.