Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs passes away

July 2nd, 2019

Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs passed away on Monday in Southlake, Texas, the Angels announced in a statement. Skaggs was 27. The Angels’ scheduled game against the Rangers at Globe Life Park was postponed as a result.

“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas," the Angels' statement read. "Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Carli, and his entire family during this devastating time. There are no other details at this time, please keep Tyler’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened by today’s tragedy in Texas. All of us at Major League Baseball extend our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels’ teammates and colleagues. We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family.”

Skaggs’ passing comes 10 years after Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car crash on April 9, 2009. Other Angels who passed away during their career include outfield Lyman Bostock, who died in September 1978, and infielder Luis Valbuena, who played for the Angels in 2018 and died in a car crash in Venezuela this past offseason, though he was no longer officially a member of the organization at the time.

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark issued the following statement on Skaggs' passing: "The fraternity of players is stunned and saddened today by the untimely death of Tyler Skaggs, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Tyler's wife, Carli, and the rest of his family, teammates and friends."

The Southlake Police Department in Texas released information that Skaggs was found unresponsive in a hotel room at 2:18 p.m. CT Monday and was pronounced dead on the scene. No foul play is suspected, and an investigation is ongoing.

A Los Angeles native who went to Santa Monica High School, Skaggs was drafted by the Angels as the No. 40 overall pick in the 2009 Draft. He was part of the same Halos Draft class that included Mike Trout, Randal Grichuk and Patrick Corbin. In 2011, when MLB Pipeline began its rankings, Trout was the game’s top prospect and Skaggs -- who along with Corbin and Joe Saunders had been traded to the D-backs for Dan Haren in 2010 -- was Arizona’s top prospect and ranked as the No. 3 left-handed pitching prospect in the Minors.

Skaggs was traded back to the Angels prior to the 2014 season in a three-team deal in which Mark Trumbo was sent to Arizona, outfielder Adam Eaton went from Arizona to Chicago and Skaggs and pitcher Hector Santiago landed in Anaheim. He made a memorable Major League debut with the D-backs on Aug. 22, 2012, allowing two runs on three hits over 6 2/3 innings in a win over the Marlins at Chase Field.

Affable and likable in the clubhouse, Skaggs was a leader among the pitching staff and controlled the music in the clubhouse during Spring Training. He had tattoos on his arm with the state of California and an L.A. logo, indicating where he grew up. He also took part in the Angels’ cowboy-themed travel day on Sunday, wearing a black shirt, a bolo tie and a cowboy hat and posted it on Instagram.

Skaggs married his wife, Carli, in the offseason. His mother, Debbie, was a renowned softball coach at Santa Monica High School until retiring in 2015 after a 28-year run that included two CIF championships and 12 league titles.

The lefty had a career 4.41 ERA in 96 starts, including a 4.25 ERA in 83 starts with the Angels. He missed the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August of 2014. His last outing came on Saturday against the A's, when he allowed two runs over 4 1/3 innings. He had a 4.29 ERA this year and a 1.62 ERA over his last three outings. He was known for his traditional 12-to-6 curveball but had been working to improve his changeup.

“He wasn’t a guy that I enjoyed having to go up against,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “It seemed like no matter whether I was in Seattle or L.A., or here, obviously, he gave all the teams I coached fits. He was a really promising arm.”

Monday’s game will be made up at a date to be determined. The Angels left the ballpark shortly after the news was announced. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Woodward held a press conference at Globe Life Park.

"On behalf of the Rangers organization, all of us here, players, staff, everybody is obviously saddened by the news today," Daniels said. "We want to express our deepest condolences and sympathies to Tyler’s family and the Angels organization and all that knew him."

Said Woodward: "It’s one of those moments where you are numb to life. I personally heard tremendous things about him. Everybody spoke highly of him. Just a sad situation. There were a lot of emotional guys in there. You could tell that. Some guys knew him, [Jesse] Chavez had actually played with him in L.A. Some guys who didn’t even know him were pretty physically shaken, you can tell.”