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Cubs activate Pedro Strop for the Wild Card game

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As I noted in my Wild Card preview, the Cubs bullpen is taxed, thanks in part to both Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop being injured. I don’t know if Strop is still injured or not, but he’ll be in uniform tonight. The Cubs just activated him for the Wild Card game.

Strop, who took over as the closer from the injured Morrow midseason, went down with a hamstring injury while running the bases against the Nationals in a mid-September game, sending him to the disabled list. He’s been saying all along that he thinks he can make it back for the playoffs, but until today the Cubs said nothing definitive on the matter. Now they have.

Strop is 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 57/21 in 59.2 innings on the year. Getting him back for tonight’s one-and-done game is a big deal.

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.