ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead at a North Texas hotel Monday while in town for a series against the Texas Rangers.
Police in Southlake, about 25 miles northwest of Dallas, said officers found the 27-year-old pitcher unresponsive at the Hilton hotel at 1400 Plaza Place and he was pronounced dead at the scene. No foul play is suspected. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner said an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine a cause of death.
The Angels released a brief statement on Twitter Monday afternoon saying, “It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas. 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.”
Monday evening’s game between the Angels and Rangers was postponed due to Skagg’s sudden death.
Skaggs was scheduled to start against the Rangers on Thursday, July 4.
Police are continuing to investigate the pitcher’s death and do not have a cause at this time. Police said they do not suspect suicide during the early stages of the investigation.
“We would like to extend our condolences to the Skaggs family and to the Los Angeles Angels organization,” Southlake Police said in a statement.
The Rangers released the following statement Monday afternoon:
The Texas Rangers organization wants to express its deepest sympathies to the family of Tyler Skaggs and to the entire Angels organization on this shocking loss. The thoughts and prayers of every member of the Texas Rangers and all of their fans are with the Angels organization at this difficult time. Tonight’s game will be made up at a date to be determined.
Skaggs posted on Instagram yesterday a photo of the team wearing cowboy hats and said, “Howdy y’all. #TexasRoadtrip.”
Skaggs’ teammate and All-Star outfielder Mike Trout said on Twitter, “Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts… we love you, 45.”
Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields, Jr. posted on Twitter and Instagram, “My heart is crushed. Life is so unpredictable and we should never take anything for granted. This isn’t just a loss just for the Los Angeles Angels but a loss for our entire baseball family and community. It was a pleasure to have competed against you over the past 5 years. You were a true competitor and my thoughts and prayers will forever be with you and your family. Rest in paradise brother.”
Fans could be seen leaving mementos in front of Angels Stadium in Anaheim in honor of the late pitcher.
Skaggs had just gotten married seven months ago. He would have turned 28 on July 13.
He was a regular in the Angels’ starting rotation since late 2016, when he returned from Tommy John surgery.
Rangers Manager Chris Woodward described the sad news 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,” Woodward said. “Some guys that didn’t even know him were visibly shaken.”
The Rangers announced Tuesday morning that this evening’s game will be played as scheduled at 7 p.m. A moment of silence will be held before the game starts.
According to the Rangers, Monday’s game will be made up at a later date.
“Real life takes precedence here,” Rangers General Manager Daniels said. “Some things are a lot bigger than baseball.”
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “deeply saddened” by Skaggs’ death.
“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,” Manfred said in a statement.
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 79 2/3 innings, according to ESPN.
A Los Angeles-area native, the Angels drafted Skaggs with the 40th pick in the first round in the 2009 draft.
He was traded to the Diamondbacks in August 2010 and made his major league debut two years later.
Arizona traded him back to the Angels after the 2013 season.
Skaggs’ death comes 10 years after another Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, died in a car crash in April 2009.
Pitcher Darryl Kile, who played in the majors for 12 seasons (1992-2002) was on the road with the St. Louis Cardinals when he died in June 2002 in his Chicago hotel room at age 33.
Albert Pujols, now a member of the Angels, was Kile’s teammate then.
The Angels clubhouse was never opened to the media before players and coaches who had already arrived for Monday night’s game left together to return to the hotel.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)