The Houston Astros already lost Gerrit Cole to free agency. Now they may be without co-ace Justin Verlander for a time too: general manager James Click just announced that Verlander has a strained lat muscle. He has been shut down.
Verlander left yesterday’s spring training game after just two innings and manager Dusty Baker described it as a sore triceps. Baker is no doctor, obviously, and the people who are obviously found something worse than that. Though perhaps not terrible, as Click said it was a mild strain and that “by and large, the news we got today was on the positive side.” Still, there is no timetable at the moment for Verlander’s return and no sense if he’ll be ready to answer the bell when the season starts.
Updates on Verlander’s prognosis, obviously, when they come.
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.