Padres hire Phil Plantier as hitting coach

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have hired Phil Plantier as hitting coach.

Plantier, 42, had been serving as manager at the Padres’ single affiliate in Lake Elsinore, California.

He was a big league outfielder from 1990-1997, batting .243/.332/.439 with 91 home runs in 610 games, 298 of which he played with San Diego.

In 1993, by far his best season, Plantier had an .843 OPS and 34 home runs for a 72-90 Padres team.

He’ll be taking the place of Randy Ready, who was let go in late September after a brutal offensive campaign that sunk the Friars to a 71-91 record. With a batting order that should improve in 2012 but only mildly, Plantier will be facing a challenge.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.