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Yasmany Tomas diagnosed with a strained oblique

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Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas recently underwent an MRI for what he and the team thought was a lower back injury but turned out to be a strained oblique, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. There’s no timetable yet for his return, but oblique injuries are notoriously tricky and the injury likely puts Tomas in doubt to be ready by Opening Day.

Tomas, 26, is entering the third year of a six-year, $68.5 million contract signed with the D-Backs back in December 2014. He put together a solid offensive season in 2016, batting .272/.313/.508 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI in 563 plate appearances. However, Tomas does not play good defense. Not only did that heavily impact his value, but it also forced the Diamondbacks to move him around the diamond in an attempt to “hide” his glove. Tomas played third base in 2016 before being moved to the outfield and the club then shifted him from left field to right field. Now he’s back in left field.

If Tomas is not ready for the regular season, veteran Gregor Blanco will handle his job in left field. Blanco signed with the D-Backs back in January.

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.