Rangers activate Josh Hamilton from disabled list, send prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A

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Josh Hamilton is back from the disabled list and to make room for his return to the active roster the Rangers have demoted top prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A.

Hamilton played just seven games for the Rangers before hurting his hamstring, which knocked him out for four weeks. He hit well in that brief showing, coming back from shoulder surgery, drug and alcohol relapses, and a trade from the Angels to hit .273 with two homers and a 1.021 OPS.

Oh, and this is fun: Hamilton and the Rangers play the Angels this weekend.

Gallo was initially called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre at third base and then shifted to left field when Beltre returned. He started out hot and then went into a slump, hitting .218 with five homers and a .754 OPS in 25 games. His batting average was ugly and as expected Gallo struck out a ton, but a 21-year-old posting a .754 OPS in his first taste of the majors is plenty impressive. His power potential is unmatched and he’ll be back in the second half.

In the meantime, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts in MLB history through any hitter’s first 25 career games:

Javier Baez         46
Joey Gallo          43
Giancarlo Stanton   41
George Springer     39
Brett Jackson       39

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.