Drew Hutchison avoids surgery on elbow, shut down for 4-6 weeks

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Here’s some good news for the injury-riddled Blue Jays.

According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said this afternoon that Drew Hutchison will not require Tommy John surgery. Hutchison was recently diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but he will be shut down for 4-6 weeks before resuming a throwing program.

There’s always the chance of a setback which would necessitate surgery, but Hutchison could rejoin the Jays later this season if the rehab process goes well. The 21-year-old right-hander made his major league debut two months ago and posted a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings prior to the injury.

The Blue Jays are also missing Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek at the moment, so they have their work cut out for them in order to stay afloat in the playoff race. Jesse Chavez, who gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Brewers, is being asked to make another start Sunday against the Marlins while Aaron Laffey will join the rotation to start Tuesday against the Red Sox.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.