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Brad Peacock suffers setback

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Astros starter Brad Peacock suffered a setback after throwing a bullpen on Saturday, The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan reports. Peacock was expected to come off of the injured list to start against the Angels, but that has been pushed back. Peacock instead traveled back to Houston to see team doctors.

Peacock, 31, has been out since late June due to discomfort in his right shoulder. He is currently carrying a 4.13 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 25 walks across 85 innings of work this season.

Josh James will open Monday night’s game against the Angels and Framber Valdéz will follow. As Kaplan notes, the Astros haven’t decided yet what to do for Tuesday’s game as their options are limited.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.