The Los Angeles Angels announced the passing of 27-year-old left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs on Monday.
The details of his death were not released at the time of the announcement. The Angels were in Texas for a series against the Rangers. Skaggs was with the team and was found unresponsive in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play was not suspected, nor was it believed that Skaggs took his own life.
Monday’s game between the Angels and Rangers was cancelled.
“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas,” the Angels organization shared via statement. “Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this devastating time.”
Skaggs was the 40th pick in the 2009 draft by the Angels before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks the following season as the plater to be named later in a five-player deal revolving around pitcher Dan Haren. The Santa Monica, California, native debuted with the D’Backs in 2012 and spent the following year with them before he was traded back to the Angels in a three-team trade that included the Chicago White Sox and focused on Mark Trumbo, Adam Eaton, and Hector Santiago.
Skaggs pitched in five different seasons with the Halos over the last six years and was 7-7 this season in 15 starts.
Skaggs’ sudden passing is yet another tragedy to strike the Angels organization in the last decade. Luis Valbuena, the former Angels and Indians utility man, died in a car accident in Venezuela over the winter with former big leaguer Jose Castillo. Tommy Hanson died in 2015 of catastrophic organ failure and Nick Adenhart was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver at the beginning of the 2009 season.
In recent years, several players have died suddenly, more often from vehicular accidents. Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in 2017, Miami’s Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in 2016, and St. Louis’ Oscar Taveras passed after a 2014 car crash.
Major League Baseball players are part of an overall larger family and Skaggs’ death affected plenty around the league beyond the two organizations that he was a part of, the Angels and the Diamondbacks.
Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer was a teammate of Skaggs during their shared time in the Arizona farm system and the pair both made their Major League debuts at the age of 21 for the Diamondbacks’ parent club in 2012 (Bauer in June and July and Skaggs in August and September).
His words via social media reflected the depth of the loss felt around MLB.
We came up together. We won together. We laughed and celebrated together. Today, we all lose and mourn together. Your memory, your love for life, everything that made you, you, will live forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew you. Rest In Peace brother. We love you. pic.twitter.com/n30eXspS4N
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) July 1, 2019
Skaggs was a pitcher of interest to the Indians following the 2012 season. Discussions between Cleveland and Arizona during the Winter Meetings centered around the Indians bringing Bauer, Skaggs, or both back in return for some of the team’s free agents to be (namely Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, and Chris Perez) as part of rumored three-team deals. The Indians ultimately acquired Bauer from Arizona and sent Choo to Cincinnati in a three-team trade that winter.
Another Tribe pitcher, Adam Plutko, knew Skaggs well as a fellow southern California native. Skaggs was his former workout partner and the two shared the number 45.
Ty, I’m going to miss you brother. You were always the “spark plug” in the room. I loved the way you competed and you taught me how to be a pro. My condolences to Carli and his family. Glad to have called you a friend. Rest easy TSkaggs. #RIP45 pic.twitter.com/sax4NUDeed
— Adam Plutko (@PapaPlut09) July 2, 2019
Did The Tribe Win Last Night extends its heartfelt sympathy and thoughts with the Angels and Diamondback organizations, their fans, and the family and friends of Tyler Skaggs.
Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images