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Mets considering sending Michael Conforto to minors

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are considering demoting Michael Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Conforto is hitting.219/.340/.365 on the year and has been slumping worsr than that lately, and Sherman says the team believes “that Conforto might benefit from a few weeks of steady Triple-A at-bats away from the Mets’ struggles.”

Nothing is imminent — the Mets likely won’t have to make room on the roster until Yoenis Cespedes returns, and he just suffered a setback by aggravating his quad muscle in a rehab game, so that might still be a bit — but it is rather remarkable that the Mets are considering demoting Conforto. Especially considering that (a) there are several other Mets hitting worse than he is; and (b) he, unlike most of them, represents the future of the Mets as opposed to a water-treading present. He’s the best hitting prospect the club has produced in years, yet every year he’s threatened with being sent down. And has actually been sent down.

Not that the Mets aren’t sensitive to players’ feelings. Jose Reyes, for example, is apparently allowed to work through whatever he’s working through and, if and when his services are no longer needed on the club, he’ll be sure to get a graceful exit.

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.