Denard Span to undergo season-ending hip surgery

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Thursday night when the Nationals placed center fielder Denard Span on the disabled list they indicated that he was unlikely to play again this season due to a left hip injury and now it’s official: Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Span will undergo season-ending surgery.

Span will end up missing a total of 101 games this season due to multiple injuries, but when healthy enough to be in the lineup he hit .301 with five homers and a .796 OPS for his best production since 2009.

It’s particularly rough timing because Span is a 31-year-old impending free agent who would likely have a robust market and plenty of big long-term offers waiting for him if not for the injuries.

Michael Taylor has filled in for Span at various times and will do so again now, although the rookie exited Thursday’s game after crashing into the outfield fence. If the Nationals fail to re-sign Span this offseason they figure to hand the full-time center field job to Taylor in 2016.

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.