Astros cut Tyler Greene, will start Ronny Cedeno at short

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According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chroniclethe Astros have informed shortstop Tyler Greene that he will not make the 25-man roster. He is out of options, so they’re looking to trade him. If they can’t pull that off, he will probably be released.

Ronny Cedeno, who was signed to a deal Saturday after getting cut from Cardinals camp, is expected to start at shortstop this season in Houston, with Marwin Gonzalez serving as his backup.

Greene batted .323/.422/.579 with 14 home runs and 19 stolen bases over 66 games in 2011 at the Triple-A level and has shown flashes of great potential at other rungs of the minor leagues. But the 29-year-old former first-round pick hasn’t done anything in the bigs.

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.