CC Sabathia to make Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday

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Masahiro Tanaka had a successful spring debut on Thursday night and the Yankees are hoping for something similar with CC Sabathia. According to Andrew Simon of MLB.com, the veteran southpaw has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

This will be Sabathia’s first game action since last May 10. The 34-year-old southpaw was limited to just eight games last season due to a right knee injury which eventually required surgery, but he hasn’t had any issues this spring and made it through 29-pitch simulated game against Yankees minor leaguers on Thursday.

While Sabathia showed up to spring training last year noticeably slim at 275 pounds, he reported to camp this year at 305 pounds and believes it will be better for him. He’s dealing with a chronic knee condition and his velocity has been in decline for quite some time, so who knows if he can be anything close to the pitcher we have seen in the past, but the Yankees would probably be happy if he just gets back to eating innings in the middle of their rotation.

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.