Tragedy struck Major League Baseball on July 1, 2019, when former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room, hours before the team was scheduled to play the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.
An autopsy revealed that the 27-year-old had a fatal mix of oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system that led to him choking on his vomit.
Former Angels director of communications Eric Kay is being charged with distributing a controlled substance and the distribution of a controlled substance resulting in Skaggs’ death. His trial is set to start next week, and if Kay is convicted on all counts, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, L.A. Dodgers pitcher Andrew Heaney is among the witnesses who could be called to testify in court:
Among the government’s potential witnesses are former Angels players Matt Harvey, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Cron, Cam Bedrosian, Mike Morin, Blake Parker, Garrett Richards, and a number of team and clubhouse personnel.
With prosecutors submitting a list of 79 witnesses, it is very possible that Heaney will not be asked to take the stand. The left-hander pitched in parts of seven seasons for the Angels, including 2019, when he went 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 95.1 innings (18 starts).
The Angels dealt Heaney to the New York Yankees at the MLB trade deadline last year, and after a poor showing, he signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers prior to the MLB lockout beginning.
MLB, MLBPA agreed to implement opioid testing after Skaggs’ death
Five months after Skaggs’ death, MLB and the Players Association announced significant changes to the Drug of Abuse provisions of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, including the implementation of opioid testing.
“The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball. It is our hope that this agreement — which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education — will help protect the health and safety of our players,” MLB deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a statement at the time.
“I commend the Players Association and its membership for their thoughtful approach to this important issue. We also appreciate the support and guidance offered to us by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks and dangers of opioid medications and contribute positively to a national conversation about this important topic.”
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