Hyun-Jin Ryu scratched from next turn in Dodgers’ rotation with middle back stiffness

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From MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick comes word that Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has been scratched from his scheduled outing Friday against the Reds due to stiffness in the middle of his back.

Chris Capuano will take the mound in his place.

Ryu has posted an outstanding 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 139/46 K/BB ratio in 167 innings this season for first-place Los Angeles and should be ready to return at some point early next week.

The 26-year-old native of South Korea signed a six-year, $36 million free agent contract with the Dodgers this past winter. Los Angeles also paid a $25.7 million posting fee, but it’s all been worth it so far.

Ryu went 192 2/3 total innings last season in the KBO, so fatigue should not be an issue.

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.