Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman could make his MLB debut soon

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are aligning pitching prospect Marcus Stroman’s next start to that of Dustin McGowan. It could be a sign that Stroman, who turns 23 years old on Thursday, could make his Major League debut soon. Stroman will pitch against the Louisville Bats in Triple-A on Tuesday, the same day McGowan pitches against the Royals.

Getting his first taste of Triple-A competition, Stroman has a 2.18 ERA with 26 strikeouts and six walks over 20 2/3 innings. Stroman was rated the #27 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus entering the season.

McGowan, meanwhile, has not fared well in the Jays’ rotation. In four starts, the right-hander has a 6.88 ERA.

Davidi writes Stroman’s debut could come as early as May 4 in Pittsburgh, but there’s obviously nothing written in stone at the moment. Manager John Gibbons said of the situation, “we’ll see.”

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.