David Buchanan, Domonic Brown question the tactics of Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg

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It’s a pretty common thing for starting pitchers to disapprove when they’re removed somewhat early from games, but these comments from Phillies right-hander David Buchanan feel especially pointed …

“It caught me off-guard honestly,” Buchanan told Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer after being lifted before the sixth inning of Saturday’s loss to the Cardinals. “I didn’t expect that and wasn’t too happy about that. I just do what I am told and go for as long as I can and unfortunately that was only five innings tonight but it definitely caught me off guard.”

Buchanan was only at 90 pitches when manager Ryne Sandberg pulled him, but he had allowed eight hits and two walks. The Phillies wound up having to use seven relievers in the 12-inning loss and will be short on rested arms for Sunday’s series finale with St. Louis.

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown also voiced his displeasure with a recent lack of playing time after being double-switched with Grady Sizemore in the seventh inning Saturday. Brown has started just 24 games since the beginning of July. “I am not out there every day so it’s kind of tough coming off the bench,” he said.

It’s much easier for a team to get along when it’s playing winning baseball. The Phillies are 57-72.

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.