Angels send Jered Weaver for MRI exam on neck

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Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, who had trouble reaching 80 miles per hour with his fastball Wednesday, reported having neck soreness today and has been sent for what the team is calling a “precautionary” MRI exam.

Weaver throwing in the high-70s and low-80s isn’t as worrisome as it would be with nearly any other pitcher because his velocity has been in decline for years now and he worked in the mid-80s for much of last season. However, it’s also easy to see why the Angels are cautious with his health in general.

Along with the low velocity reading Weaver served up three homers to the Dodgers on Wednesday and is coming off a career-worst 4.64 ERA and career-low 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings last year. He’s only 33 years old, but Weaver’s career may be at a crossroads.

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.