An investigation was underway Tuesday to determine what caused the death of 27-year-old Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas, with police suspecting neither foul play nor suicide.
Several Angels players and a few broadcasters were on a bus about to leave the Hilton hotel in Southlake for Globe Life Park Monday afternoon when news came that Skaggs had been found dead in his hotel room about 40 minutes earlier, hours before the opener of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers.
“Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now,” Angels all-star outfielder Mike Trout tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli (Skaggs’ wife) and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts… we love you, 45.”
Monday night’s game was postponed until August. Grief counselors were made available to team personnel.
Skaggs was a native of Woodland Hills and a graduate of Santa Monica High School. He and his wife Carli were married in December. They had no children.
The Southlake police department issued a statement Monday.
“This afternoon at 2:18 p.m. the Southlake Police Department responded to a call of an unconscious male in a room in the Hilton Hotel. Officers arrived and found the male unresponsive and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.” The statement said that “at this time, no foul play is suspected and the investigation is ongoing.”
A police department spokesperson quoted by The Times added that “suicide is not suspected.”
Skaggs was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse and one of the Angels’ most reliable pitchers this season, going 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 79 2/3 innings across 15 starts. He was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA during a seven-year career that was interrupted by Tommy John surgery in 2014 and several other injuries.
Skaggs’ death is one of several tragedies the Angels have dealt with over the years. It comes 10 years after 22-year-old pitcher Nick Adenhart and two friends were killed by a drunken driver April 9, 2009, only hours after Adenhart threw the best game of his career.
In the 1970s, infielders Chico Ruiz and Mike Miley and pitcher Bruce Heinbechner were killed in separate auto accidents, pitcher Minnie Rojas was paralyzed in a car crash and outfielder Lyman Bostock was killed in a drive-by shooting while riding in a car with friends in Gary, Indiana.