Nationals call up Nate Schierholtz, option Michael Taylor

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Outfielder Nate Schierholtz has joined the Nationals for Saturday afternoon’s match-up against the Giants, getting the call-up from Triple-A Syracuse, per CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman. Schierholtz was released by the Cubs on August 13 and joined the Nationals as a free agent on August 18, reporting to Syracuse for four games. Nate McLouth was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Schierholtz, also per Zuckerman. The Nationals optioned Michael Taylor back to Syracuse to create 25-man roster space.

Schierholtz provides a left-handed bat off of the bench for the NL East-leading Nationals. The 30-year-old has struggled this season, hitting only six home runs with 33 RBI and a .192/.240/.300 slash line.

However, over his career, Schierholtz has been relatively productive against right-handed pitching. He has a career .722 OPS against right-handers compared to .650 against southpaws.

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.