Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died Monday. He was 27.
Skaggs and the Angels were in Texas to play the Rangers in a series that was scheduled to begin Monday. Their game was postponed.
Local police said in a statement that Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room at 2:18 p.m. local time. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Police don’t suspect foul play. A cause of death has not yet been announced, but a police spokesperson said, via the L.A. Times, that suicide is “not suspected.”
Here’s what the Angels said about Skaggs’ death:
Skaggs played five years in the Angels organization after breaking into the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was originally drafted by the Angels in 2009. He’s from Santa Monica, Calif., and was drafted out of Santa Monica High School. Just a day ago told a reporter how he dreamed of pitching against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium.
On the field, Skaggs’ career was often hindered by injuries. He missed all of the 2015 season after needing Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. He pitched half of the 2016 season after recovery. He missed a big part of the 2017 season because of injury and was on the injured list twice in 2018. This season was the first in which he’d stayed healthy, and was 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 15 starts.
“He was going after them,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said of Skaggs, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The stuff overall was pretty good. But he was up near 100 pitches, and we’re trying to avoid big innings, and keep the game close.”
Skaggs regularly posted pictures of his teammates and behind-the-scenes action on social media. He unquestionably had pride in being an Angel, and his most recent picture shows him — along with his teammates — dressed in cowboy attire for their trip to Texas.
Tyler Skaggs weighed heavy on the minds of Mike Trout and all of the Los Angeles Angels in their first game since death of the much-loved 27-year-old pitcher.
"I can't explain it man. Lost a teammate, lost a friend, a brother. Just got to get through it," a visibly shaken Trout said after the Angels 9-4 win at Texas on Tuesday night.
"It's tough. My first at-bat, I get up there, all I do is think about him," added the All-Star center fielder, who was in the same Angels draft class as Skaggs in 2009. "Just a different feeling, just in shock, it's like walking around the hotel, you're just always thinking about him."
The Angels decided to play a day after the postponement of the series opener against the Rangers. Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas on Monday. A cause of death has not been reported.
Before Angels starter Jose Suarez threw his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning, the left-hander appeared to write something in the dirt with his finger. He then touched the No. 45 painted on the back of the mound and tapped his heart.
Justin Bour pointed skyward after his two-run single in the sixth inning, when the Angels went ahead to stay with four runs to break a 3-3 tie. Kole Calhoun was more emphatic with his reaction when crossing home plate after his two-run homer in the eighth.
"No, it wasn't normal. And it felt like there was much more urgency to win," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's been a rough 24 hours, and we haven't had a lot to smile about, so a win would give us something."
Their wedding celebration was nearly derailed when the place they had picked out in Malibu, Calif., was being threatened by a wildfire, they shared with the outlet. The room where the 200-plus guests were going to join the Skaggs for the reception was spared while most of the grounds around it were charred, according to the magazine.
“This was important to us. But it was nothing compared to the way people’s lives were being impacted,” Skaggs said of the fires. “A thousand things go into planning a wedding, but no one ever plans on their venue burning.”
The two went through with their wedding. Carli Skaggs also opened up about their plans for children in the future.
“Tyler wants his children to be able to see him pitch,” Carli Skaggs told the website.
A California newspaper said it has received multiple threats over an article speculating that late Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an opiod overdose — leading it to scrub the story from its website.
The Santa Monica Observer reported soon after Skaggs’ death that the 27-year-old pitcher — who was found dead July 1 in his room at the Hilton Southlake Hotel in Texas — may have been getting opiod prescriptions from multiple doctors who were unaware of each other’s treatments, Deadline reported.
Texas police quickly denied the report, saying there was no information yet that suggested an overdose or suicide.
An Angels spokeswoman also blasted the article as “categorically incorrect” and said the “reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”
The Observer eventually scrubbed the article of the opiod information but said its report had made “it clear the author is speculating,” according to Deadline.