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Twins option struggling Miguel Sanó to Single-A

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Following Thursday afternoon’s 3-1 loss to the Tigers, the Twins optioned third baseman Miguel Sanó to High-A Fort Myers and outfielder Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports. The club will activate Joe Mauer from the disabled list and add another player to the roster on Friday before opening a three-game road series with the Indians.

Sanó, 25, has struggled this season, batting .203/.270/.405 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 163 plate appearances. Since returning in late May after dealing with a hamstring injury, Sanó hit .191 over 73 trips to the plate.

Usually, when a player is in the midst of a slump, a team might send him to Triple-A for a spell to figure things out. It’s rare for the club to demote an established major leaguer — an All-Star, even — to Single-A. Perhaps the Twins want Sanó to face lesser competition as a way to help rebuild his confidence.

Mauer, 35, suffered a neck injury diving for a ball a month ago and developed concussion symptoms. He will return to play batting .283/.404/.355 in 167 PA.

Cave, 25, hit a pair of home runs across six games in the majors this season. He’ll continue to serve as outfield depth in the minors.

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.