Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a Texas hotel room in July, died from ingesting a mix of alcohol and the opioids fentanyl and oxycodone, according to a toxicology report, and his family suggested someone with the team may have provided him with the drugs.
The cause of the pitcher’s July 1 death was listed as “mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the report, first obtained by the Los Angeles Times, which was released Friday.
The determination means Skaggs essentially choked on vomit caused by his ingestion of the drugs and alcohol. His death was ruled accidental.
Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas, where the team was staying while in town to play the Texas Rangers.
In a statement to The Times, the Skaggs family said they are “heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol.”
“That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much,” according to the family. “We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death.
“We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels,” according to the family, without elaborating. “We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”
The Angels issued a statement saying the team “has provided our full cooperation and assistance to the Southlake police as they conduct their investigation.”
“Tyler was and always will be a beloved member of the Angels family and we are deeply saddened to learn what caused this tragic death,” according to the team statement.
Pat Courtney, spokesman for Major League Baseball, told The Times the league plans to investigate the family’s allegation that someone with the Angels may have been involved in Skaggs’ death.
The Anaheim Police Department issued a statement saying the agency “has not been made aware of any allegations of criminal conduct in Anaheim and does not have an open investigation in this matter.”
“We are saddened by the information released today in Texas regarding the cause and manner of death of Tyler Skaggs,” department officials said. “While this in no way minimizes the tragic loss of such a vibrant and promising young life, it serves as an indication of the pervasive nature of drugs in our society.”
Skaggs was a native of Woodland Hills and a graduate of Santa Monica High School. He and his wife, Carli, were married in December, and they had no children.
Skaggs was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse and had been 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 the Tommy John surgery in 2014 and several other injuries.