Angels starter Jered Weaver had a forgettable afternoon against the Dodgers on Wednesday in a Cactus League exhibition. The right-hander was immediately greeted with a leadoff home run by Joc Pederson and walked the next batter. Weaver ended up yielding five runs on six hits and a walk with no strikeouts. Three of those six hits were home runs, with Austin Barnes and Scott Van Slyke joining Pederson.
A scout had Weaver topping out at 80 MPH with his fastball, according to Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. The home run to Barnes came on a 78 MPH fastball.
Velocity is a pretty big deal for Weaver, as he’s been losing it at a rather steep rate. Check out this chart from Brooks Baseball:
Weaver had the worst season of his career in 2015, finishing with a 7-12 record, a 4.64 ERA, and a 90/33 K/BB ratio in 159 innings. He battled a hip injury in the middle of the season and a shoulder problem towards the end of the season. The Angels have Weaver under contract for the 2016 season at $20 million after which he can become a free agent.
It’s early, so a lot can change between now and the start of the regular season. Weaver could get back into the high 80’s, but considering what happened last year, it’s at least something to keep an eye on.
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.