Nationals expected to call up prospect Michael Taylor

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Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com reports that the Nationals are expected to call up outfield prospect Michael Taylor to the big leagues. He is expected to be with the team in time for their evening series finale in Atlanta against the Braves. The Nationals have seen two of their outfielders — Jayson Werth and Steven Souza — suffer recent injuries.

Taylor, 23, started the season at Double-A Harrisburg — his first taste of that level of competition — and posted fantastic results, slashing .313/.396/.539 with 22 home runs, 63 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. Taylor made his Triple-A debut with the Syracuse Chiefs on Monday. In four games, he has five hits (including three doubles and a triple) with a pair of RBI and a stolen base.

It’s not clear yet what roster move the Nationals will make to create room for Taylor, but it could involve a DL stint for either or both of Werth and Souza.

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.