A's announce 2017 Minor League staff

A's announce 2017 Minor League staff

OAKLAND -- The A's announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staff on Tuesday, revealing several changes -- chief among them the appointment of Ryan Christenson as manager of Triple-A Nashville.

Christenson, a former A's outfielder, joined the organization as a Minor League manager in 2013 and has led his clubs to postseason appearances in each of his four seasons at the helm, including twice at Double-A Midland, where he guided the RockHounds to back-to-back Texas League titles. He takes over for Steve Scarsone, who moves into the new position of traveling instructor after taking Nashville to a Pacific Coast League-best 83-59 record this year.

The A's have also created the role of coordinator of instruction, to be held by former big leaguer and University of Pacific baseball coach Ed Sprague, who served as a consultant to the A's player development staff in 2016.

Gil Patterson (Minor League pitching coordinator), Jim Eppard (Minor League hitting coordinator), Juan Navarrete (Minor League fielding coordinator) and Craig Lefferts (Minor League rehab coordinator) are set to return in their same roles.

At Nashville, Christenson will be joined by pitching coach Rick Rodriguez, hitting coach Eric Martins, athletic trainer Brad LaRosa and strength and conditioning coach Henry Torres.

Midland, meanwhile, will see Fran Riordan replace Christenson as manager. Riordan managed at Class A Beloit the previous two seasons, following 14 years as a manager in independent leagues. John Wasdin (pitching coach) and Brian McArn (hitting coach) return to Midland's staff, as does athletic trainer Justin Whitehouse. They'll be joined by new strength and conditioning coach Matt Rutledge.

Several familiar faces will be back at Class A Advanced Stockton, including manager Rick Magnante, pitching coach Steve Connelly, hitting coach Tommy Everidge and strength and conditioning coach Sean Doran. Beloit gets a new manager in Scott Steinmann, who will have Don Schulze (pitching coach), Juan Dilone (hitting coach), Brian Thorson (athletic trainer) and Omar Aguilar (strength and conditioning coach) on his staff.

Aaron Nieckula, who will also continue his role as Minor League field coordinator, returns to Class A Short-Season Vermont as manager, with Carlos Chavez as his pitching coach and Lloyd Turner as his hitting coach. Toshi Nagahara (athletic trainer) and J.D. Howell (strength and conditioning coach) will join them.

The A's Arizona Rookie-level affiliate will employ the same staff: Webster Garrison (manager), Gabriel Ozuna (pitching coach), Ruben Escalera (hitting coach), Chris Lessner (athletic trainer) and Terence Brannic (strength and conditioning coach).

Elsewhere, Nate Brooks -- formerly the system-wide rehab coordinator -- has been promoted to medical coordinator. Travis Tims takes over Brooks' prior role, while A.J. Selliger assumes the strength and conditioning coordinator position.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.