Bobby Parnell faces hitters for first time since last July

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets closer Bobby Parnell faced hitters today for the first time since last July 30. Parnell, who had surgery last September to repair a herniated disk in his neck, threw batting practice against a group of teammates including Daniel Murphy and David Wright.

Parnell has been bothered by a left quadriceps strain early on this spring and isn’t back to 100 percent quite yet, but he reported no issues or pain with his neck today and has “no doubt” that he’ll be ready for Opening Day. He is expected to make his spring debut in a B-game next Thursday.

Parnell was excellent prior to his neck injury last year, posting a 2.16 ERA and 44/12 K/BB ratio over 50 innings while going 22-for-26 in save chances.

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.