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Luis Severino not expected back until May ‘at the earliest’

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Brian Cashman gave some updates on Yankees injuries today. You will not be surprised to hear that, as is usually the case, the time the injured players will be out is a bit longer than initial, optimistic projections.

Cashman said he doesn’t expect starter Luis Severino back until May.  Severino was diagnosed with “rotator cuff inflammation” ten days ago and was to be shut down for two weeks. It’s not clear if the shutdown is going to be extended or if, rather, his ramp-up schedule from the shutdown is simply going to take longer than expected. Either way, the Yankees will be without their ace for at least the first month of the season.

UPDATE: It sounds more dire than that, actually:

Cashman added that CC Sabathia is not expected back until sometime in mid-to-late April. Sabathia spring schedule was slow to get moving due to caution following an offseason heart procedure and cleanup surgery on his arthritic right knee. He began throwing to live hitters just three days ago.

Finally, it appears as though center fielder Aaron Hicks will begin the season on the injured list. Hicks has been out since March 2 with pain in his back. On Monday received a cortisone shot but has yet been able to swing the bat fully.

Severino’s shoulder is the thing to watch the most closely here — it could be serious — while the other two injuries don’t seem particularly major. Still, injuries have a way of inflicting death by a thousand cuts, so none of this is great news for the Bombers.

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.