Report: Joe Kelly “is clearly on thin ice” with the Red Sox

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This winter Joe Kelly joked (or at least it seemed like a joke) that he was going to win the Cy Young award for the Red Sox this season, but now he might be headed back to the minors at age 27.

Kelly failed to make it out of the second inning Monday against the Twins, allowing seven runs while recording five outs, and he’s now 1-4 with a 6.24 ERA in nine starts this season.

Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that the Red Sox are thinking about demoting Kelly to Triple-A, with Eduardo Rodriguez likely tabbed as his replacement. According to McAdam “he’s clearly on thin ice” and Kelly may only have one more start to keep his job.

Kelly, who was acquired from the Cardinals last July as part of the Allen Craig/John Lackey trade, has a 3.78 ERA in 376 career innings despite being unable to turn his mid-90s fastball into a good strikeout rate.

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.