Brandon Lowe
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Rays activate Brandon Lowe from 60-day injured list

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Rookie infielder/outfielder Brandon Lowe will get another chance to make an impact for the Rays this year, per a team announcement on Sunday. Lowe was previously declared out for the season after sustaining a left quad strain in late August, but was able to recuperate more quickly than expected and has been officially reinstated from the 60-day injured list.

It’s been a tumultuous season for the 25-year-old rookie, whose quad strain was preceded by a deep bone bruise in his right shin that forced him to the injured list for nearly three months. When healthy, however, he made significant strides at the plate, batting .276/.339/.523 with 16 home runs, an .862 OPS, and 2.5 fWAR through 307 plate appearances.

There’s no guarantee that Lowe will be able to replicate those numbers over the final week of the regular season, but the progress he made in instructional league games has given the team a little bit of hope over the last few days. Per MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, the Rays intend to keep Lowe in the mix as much as possible, but will try to limit any ambitious baserunning maneuvers that might re-aggravate his injuries.

“There’s obviously some things that I’m not going to do,” Lowe told reporters. “I’m not going to bust a chopper right back at the pitcher. I’m not going to try and beat a little bouncer at the defense, but I feel good enough to go out there and give it what I got.”

Lowe is set to rejoin the team at a pivotal point in the season, one that finds the Rays clinging to a one-game lead over the Indians for the second AL wild card spot. Should they end up qualifying for the postseason, it’ll mark their fifth trip to the playoffs and first since 2013.

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.