The Nashville Sounds 2017 coaching staff has been announced by the Oakland Athletics and is highlighted by new Manager, Ryan Christenson.
Christenson, 42, will manage at the Triple-A level for the first time after leading the Double-A Midland RockHounds to Texas League titles in 2015 and 2016.
The 2016 Texas League Manager of the Year, Christenson enters his fifth season in the Oakland organization. His coaching staff will consist of pitching coach Rick Rodriguez, hitting coach Eric Martins, athletic trainer Brad LaRosa and strength and conditioning coach Henry Torres. Rodriguez, Martins and LaRosa were members of the 2016 Sounds coaching staff.
Christenson sports a career managerial mark of 323-236 (.578) after guiding the RockHounds to 83 wins in 2015 and 78 in 2016. His first season as manager was in 2013 with the Single-A Beloit Snappers. In 2014, he managed the Advanced-A Stockton Ports. All four of Christenson's teams have finished a minimum of 15 games over .500, and as high as 30 games over the even mark.
The Redlands, Calif. native was selected by the Athletics in the 10th round of the 1995 MLB Draft and played parts of six seasons in the big leagues. He spent time with the A's (1998-2001), Arizona Diamondbacks (2001), Milwaukee Brewers (2002) and Texas Rangers (2003). Christenson resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. with his wife and two children.
Rodriguez, 56, returns as Nashville's pitching coach after helping guide the Sounds to the American Southern Division Championship in 2016. Prior to Nashville, Rodriguez spent one season serving in the same role with Advanced-A Stockton. He was Triple-A Sacramento's pitching coach in 12 of the last 17 seasons, including his most recent stint in 2013-14. He also served as the A's bullpen coach from 2011-12 and as the manager of Advanced-A Modesto in 2003.
This is his 33rd year in the A's organization, including seven seasons as a player and 24 as a minor league coach.
The East Bay, Calif. native was selected by Oakland in the second round of the 1981 MLB Draft. In 31 career MLB appearances, Rodriguez compiled a 3-4 record with a 5.73 ERA. He pitched with Oakland (1986-87), Cleveland (1988) and San Francisco (1990).
Martins, 44, returns to Nashville after guiding one of the most prolific offenses in the Pacific Coast League in 2016. Martins served in the same role on Christenson's staff with Double-A Midland in 2015. Prior to his one season in Midland, Martins was a scout for the A's since 2007. During his time as a scout, Martins was responsible for signing A.J. Griffin, Daniel Robertson, and 2014 first-round selection Matt Chapman.
The East Los Angeles, Calif. native was selected by Oakland in the 17th round of the 1994 MLB Draft out of Long Beach State. He played professionally for 11 seasons, including parts of four seasons with A's Triple-A affiliates. He was a part of the 1997 Edmonton team that captured the Pacific Coast League championship and the 1999 Vancouver team that won the Triple-A World Series.
LaRosa returns to Nashville for his third season with the club and 10th as the athletic trainer for Oakland's top minor league affiliate. Prior to joining the Athletics, he spent five seasons in Double-A with St. Louis (2005-07) and Miami (2003-04).
LaRosa has been recognized with several different accolades and awards, including the PBATS 2016 Pacific Coast League Athletic Trainer of the Year. In 2007, LaRosa was honored as the PBATS Minor League Trainer of the Year. He is a certified member of the National Athletics Trainer Association and the Illinois Athletics Trainer Association. LaRosa obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Torres joins the Nashville staff as the strength and conditioning coach after spending the 2016 season in the same capacity on Christenson's staff with Double-A Midland. Torres spent 2015 with Advanced-A Stockton and 2014 with Short-season Vermont.
The San Antonio native began his professional baseball career in 2013 with the Kansas City Royals organization. Torres earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas-San Antonio and is a certified member of the National Strength Coaches Association (NSCA) with the title of Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC).
2016 Manager Steve Scarsone was named to the A's Player Development staff as travelling instructor and will spend time with all Oakland minor league affiliates throughout the 2017 season.
2016 Strength and Conditioning Coach AJ Seeliger was also named to the A's Player Development staff as strength and conditioning coordinator.
The 2017 season will be the Sounds' 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics' top affiliate. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.