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Orioles name longtime assistant Brian Ebel fourth head athletic trainer in club history

SARASOTA, FLA — Brian Ebel, a longtime member of the Orioles training staff, is the replacement for retired head athletic trainer Richie Bancells.

His promotion, announced Monday, keeps a tradition of stability inside the medical department, as he’s been in the organization for 34 years and will be enjoying his 21st season on the major league staff.

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“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Ebel said.

Bancells retired in October after three decades as the team’s head trainer, a career that spanned multiple ownership groups, several managers and many generations of stars. He’ll return as a consultant in spring training this year, Ebel said.

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Ebel becomes just the fourth head athletic trainer in franchise history. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky with an MBA from Johns Hopkins, Ebel was given his 20-year service award from the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society in 2016 and, along with Bancells, was given the 2011 MLB Athletic Training Staff of the Year award.

He brings with him to the major league staff a pair of trainers from the minor league staff, keeping the continuity that his position has promoted for decades.

New assistant trainer Mark Shires, who will be in the organization for the 20th consecutive season, spent the past 11 years at Triple-A Norfolk. Patrick Wesley, who is also an assistant trainer under Ebel, has been in the organization since 2004, with his past three seasons at Double-A Bowie.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he's continued discussions with involved parties about where Manny Machado and Tim Beckham will play in 2018, but the decision isn't public yer.

“I’m just happy we were able to promote our staff from within,” Ebel said. “We’ve got a great core of athletic trainers in the organization, and I think it’s really important for the stability and continuity of all of our programs that we were able to promote.”

To replace Shires, Chris Poole was named the trainer for Norfolk. Everyone else moved up a level, including Brian Guzman to Bowie, Marty Brinker to High-A Frederick, Adrian Gonzalez to Low-A Delmarva and Gary Smith to Short-A Aberdeen.

Dave Walker (medical coordinator), Chris Correnti (athletic trainer, pitching performance), Manny Lopez (Latin American medical coordinator) and Ludovino Alonzo Marte (DSL athletic trainer) will return to their positions.

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