Masterpress/Getty Images

Hunter Strickland out ‘at least a couple months’ with lat strain


Mariners closer Hunter Strickland has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain,’s Greg Johns reports. Manager Scott Servais said that Strickland will be out “at least a couple months.” The club will go with a closer-by-committee for the time being.

Strickland said, “It sucks, but you have to find the positives. At least I’ll be back at some point this season.”

Strickland was unable to convert the save on Friday against the Red Sox, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning. The Mariners lost 7-6. Strickland initially attributed the hiccup to tightness in the back of his shoulder.

The Mariners signed Strickland to a one-year, $1.3 million contract in late January. He did look solid in his first two appearances of the season in Japan, as he tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts. In Strickland’s absence, Gory Gearrin, Zac Rosscup, Nick Rumbelow, and Matt Festa could all see save chances. So, too, could Anthony Swarzak, who should be activated from the disabled list this week. A little birdy tells me there’s still a really good closer on the free agent market.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

AP Photo

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.