Athletic Trainer Bios
Minnesota Twins
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Head Athletic Trainer

Michael Salazar

Michael Salazar is entering his third season as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Twins after spending one season with the San Diego Padres as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. He spent seven seasons as an Assistant Athletic Trainer and Athletic Training Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. Salazar spent 11 seasons as a minor league athletic trainer for the Cleveland Indians at all levels from 2000-2011. Prior to working with the Tribe, Michael spent one season in the Atlanta Braves organization. Michael was also appointed to the position of Head Athletic Trainer for the Dominican Team during the first two World Baseball Classics. He spent two off seasons (2004 & 2011) working for the Águilas, a winter ball team in the Dominican Republic. In 2016, he shared the honor of being named to the “Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year” along with Lonnie Soloff, James Quinlan, and Jeff Desjardins. Michael currently serves as the AL Head Athletic Trainer Rep on the Executive Board for the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). Michael obtained his undergraduate degree from Manchester University, completed his graduate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Michael completed his Doctor of Athletic Training degree (DAT) from A. T. Still University in 2018. A native of Chicago, Salazar currently resides in Columbus, OH.

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Asst. Athletic Trainer

Masa Abe

Masamichi Abe is entering his fifth season in the major leagues as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Twins. Abe spent seven seasons as a minor league athletic trainer for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, spending 2016-17 with Triple-A Reno, 2014-15 with Double-A Mobile, 2013 with High-A Visalia, 2012 with Rookie-Missoula, and 2011 with the AZL Diamondbacks. He also trained for the Japanese Team during the World Baseball Classic in 2017 and in the Arizona Fall League in 2013 and ’14. He was named 2017 Pacific Coast League Athletic Trainer of the Year and 2012 Pioneer League Athletic Trainer of Year. He graduated with a degree in exercise science from the University of Arkansas, including a master’s degree in biomechanics, there he also served as graduate assistant athletic trainer for U of A baseball team 2008-2010. He was athletic trainer/strength conditioning intern in 2007. He earned a B.S. in Kinesiology – Athletic Training from the University of Northern Colorado. Abe is originally from Nagoya, Japan and recently resides in Hiroshima, Japan with his wife Naomi & son Kaito.

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Asst. Athletic Trainer

Jason Kirkman

Jason Kirkman is entering his first season as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Twins. Prior to being hired by the Twins in 2020, Kirkman was with the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Nemours Children’s Health System in 2019. He also brings 18 years of baseball experience as an athletic trainer. Kirkman began his professional baseball career with the Philadelphia Phillies organization at Low-A Batavia (2003), moved to Single-A Lakewood (2004-05), Double-A Reading (2007), Triple-A Lehigh Valley (2008-11), and High-A Clearwater (2006, 2012-13). From there he was with the Atlanta Braves as the Athletic Trainer at the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Braves (2014). Kirkman also served as an athletic trainer with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and was with High-A Rancho Cucamonga (2015-16) where he was the California League Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2016. He also spent time in Double-A Tulsa (2017) and at Triple-A Oklahoma City (2018). Kirkman also served as the athletic trainer for team Great Britain at the Baseball European Championships in 2019. In addition to his time in baseball, Kirkman has professional hockey experience in the West Coast Hockey League with the Tacoma Sabercats (2000-2002) as the head athletic trainer. He earned his Bachelor of Science with an athletic training option from Boise State University in 2000 and Master of Health Science with an athletic training option from Nova Southeastern University in 2007. Kirkman is an Idaho native and currently resides in Orlando, FL.