Rays promote Benge to head athletic trainer

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced on Tuesday changes to their Major League medical training staff.

Joe Benge has been promoted to the position of head athletic trainer, replacing Ron Porterfield, who left the organization for another opportunity with the Dodgers.

Mark Vinson has been promoted to first assistant athletic trainer. Paul Harker has been named Major League medical coordinator. Additional roles on the Major League medical staff -- including a second assistant trainer and other considerations -- will be finalized at a later date.

"It's always tough to lose someone as talented and dedicated as Ron Porterfield, but we wish him nothing but the best," said Erik Neander, Rays senior vice president of baseball operations/general manager. "We are excited to see Joe, Vinny and Hark in their new roles, building upon current practices and ensuring that the ATC staff continues to provide first-class care to our players."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.