MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats set to unveil new medical staff

WASHINGTON -- After watching 17 players go on the disabled list -- most for lengthy periods -- this season, the Nationals announced on Tuesday they have a new and expanded medical staff.

The Nats are expected to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to introduce Dr. Robin West as the lead team physician. General manager Mike Rizzo will be in attendance.

The club's medical department will expand from 43 full- and part-time personnel to at least 48.

According to the club, the Nationals are "transitioning their medical department to one that utilizes a proactive model, with significant analytic input. This will allow the team to hone in on predictive factors to thwart potential injurious situations, and increase performance, by maintaining the health and wellness of their players."

As the executive director of medical services, Harvey Sharman will work with a medical services advisory board to oversee all facets of the Nats' training staff and strength and conditioning programming.

The Nationals' advisory board will be headed by several people, including West, Dr. Keith Pyne, chairman of the Medical Services Advisory Board, and assistant general manager Bob Miller.

The changes come after the Nats finished in second place in the National League East behind the NL champion Mets. It didn't help that Washington lost major players such as Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman to significant injuries. All four played fewer than 100 games this season.

After the season ended, the Nationals dismissed head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, strength and conditioning coach John Philbin and medical director Wiemi Douoguih.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All theTime. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.