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A grand jury has convened to examine the death of Tyler Skaggs

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It has been months since we heard anything new about law enforcement’s investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Last we heard, in October, federal agents were in the process of interviewing current and former Angels players who may have information about Skaggs’ drug use and death and that simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death were being undertaken by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

A lot of that all seemed to get lost in a news-heavy offseason, but last night the Los Angeles Times reported that things have progressed:

A Texas grand jury has been hearing evidence that could form the basis for criminal charges related to the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, two people familiar with the matter told the Los Angeles Times.

That’s a pretty big step forward. Not all grand jury investigations lead to indictments, but prosecutors tend not to convene them unless they at least believe they have a good shot at an indictment.

At the moment it’s not known who or what, specifically, is being looked at, but Texas is where Skaggs died, obviously, so one might assume that it involves who supplied the drugs to Skaggs that killed him. It has been revealed that Skaggs was a user of Oxycontin, but his autopsy revealed Fentanyl as well, leading some to suspect that he had been given adulterated drugs. Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications at the time of Skaggs’ death, told agents he illegally obtained oxycodone and have some to Skaggs several days before the team left California for Texas, but it is unclear if Skaggs took those drugs at the time or held on to them before the Angels left on the road trip. The Times reports that Kay is cooperating with authorities.

There will, no doubt, be more to come on this.

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.