Police responded to a report of an unconscious man in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas, and pronounced Skaggs dead at the scene. No foul play is suspected and an investigation is ongoing, police said.
“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas,” an Angels statement said. “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.”
Angels players and coaches who had arrived at the Rangers’ ballpark for Monday night’s series opener left about four hours before the scheduled start of the game to return to their hotel. The clubhouse was never opened to the media.
The Rangers’ clubhouse also was closed when general manager Jon Daniels and manager Chris Woodward told their players what had happened and dismissed them.
Woodward described it as “one of those moments where you’re just kind of numb” and said the Rangers were thinking about Skaggs’ family and the Angels organization.
“There were a lot of pretty emotional guys in there, you could tell. Some guys knew him. [Jesse Chavez] had actually played with him in L.A.,” Woodward said. “Some guys that didn’t even know him were visibly shaken. You could tell.”
Daniels told media that he had only discussed the postponement of Monday’s game with MLB, but he would be open to talking if the league feels more should be done.
“Real life takes precedence here,” Daniels said. “Some things are a lot bigger than baseball.”
MLB posted a statement to Twitter from commissioner Rob Manfred that read in part, “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.”
— MLB (@MLB) July 1, 2019
Outside Angel Stadium, fans started to lay flowers and other memorabilia in tribute to Skaggs.
Skaggs last pitched Saturday, going five innings at home against Oakland. He had gone 7-7 this year in 15 starts, recording a 4.29 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 79⅔ innings.
A Los Angeles-area native, Skaggs was born in Woodland Hills and went to high school in Santa Monica. His mother, Debbie, was the longtime softball coach at Santa Monica High School. She famously provided postgame tips on his pitching mechanics, even deep into his big-league career.
Skaggs was drafted by the Angels with the 40th pick in the first round of the 2009 draft, the same Angels draft class as Mike Trout. They were roommates in the low minor leagues before Skaggs was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in August 2010.
Skaggs made his major league debut two years later, and Arizona traded him back to the Angels after the 2013 season.
Rest in peace, Tyler. You will be missed dearly. pic.twitter.com/4DDTMZssNo
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 1, 2019
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said in a statement that “the fraternity of players is stunned and saddened today by the untimely death of Tyler Skaggs.”
Skaggs’ death comes 10 years after another Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, died in a car crash along with two other people in April 2009. A drunk driver was convicted of murder and sentenced to 51 years to life in 2010.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.