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Aaron Hicks to have Tommy John Surgery

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The Yankees had their season wrap-up press conference today and announced that multiple players either had or soon will be having surgery. The biggest news: outfielder Aaron Hicks will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Hicks had elbow problems throughout the second half and missed a bunch of time as a result. He was activated for the ALCS, however, and even hit a homer against Justin Verlander in Game 5. Further testing this week, however, revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Hicks will be out of commission for for 8-10 months, which means the Yankees will be out their center fielder for the first half of the 2020 season.

In other news, Luke Voit underwent sports hernia surgery earlier this week. That was a long time coming, as he had core problems for much of the second half and was ineffective down the stretch. Voit is expected to be fully recovered by the opening of spring training.

Finally, starter Masahiro Tanaka underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. The surgery was said to be a minor procedure and he too should be shipshape and Bristol fashion for spring training.

Yes, that’s a thing.

Anyway, that’s a lot of medical news, but given all the injuries they dealt with this past season the Yankees more than met their annual deductible, so all of these surgeries should be covered with no out-of-pocket.

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.