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Julio Urias may start the season in extended spring training

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said today that Julio Urias could begin the year in extended spring training in an effort to limit his innings.

Urias, who is only 20, threw 122 innings last season between the big leagues and the minors It’s just one of a number of options on the table. Urias logged 122 innings between the majors and the minors in 2016, and another 5.2 innings in the postseason. That’s a step up from his previous workloads and moving up to a 180-200 inning load which would be expected of him if he’s in the rotation all year is a lot to ask.

At the moment Urias projects to be the Dodgers’ fourth starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, but there are other arms who could step up if Urias were to have his workload lessened in 2017, including Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who said yesterday that he’s feeling good after missing a lot of time.

The smart money, of course, is that if the Dodgers are, as expected, contenders once again, Urias will be a part of that success and will be counted on to take the ball come September and October. All of which makes ensuring that he’s got something left in the tank then of paramount importance.

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.