As stunning news goes, this was horribly unexpected. Tyler Skaggs, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, passed away earlier today in Texas. He was found dead in his hotel room: there’s as yet no indication of the cause of death, but police have indicated that foul play is not believed to be involved. The Angels’ game tonight against the Rangers has been postponed.
Skaggs was originally drafted by the Angels in 2009, but became a Diamondback the following August. He was the player to be named later in the deal which sent Dan Haren to Anaheim, coming to Arizona along with Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez and Joe Saunders. He made his major-league debut on August 22, 2012, getting the win by holding the Marlins to three hits over 6.2 innings of work. He made 13 starts for Arizona that year and the next. going 3-6 with a 5.43 ERA. The peak of his time here was likely on July 5, 2013 (below), when he threw eight shutout innings at Chase Field against the Rockies, giving up three hits and one walk, striking out five.
He returned to the Angels at the end of the season, being part of the three-team trade which got us Mark Trumbo. In Anaheim, he struggled with injuries of various kinds, and missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. From 2014 on, his season high was 125.1 innings of work, with Skaggs averaging barely 75 innings and fewer than 14 starts per year. But he had his moments, and a decent 105 ERA+ over 15 starts this year, until today’s shocking and sad news. Skaggs becomes the fifth former Diamondback to pass away, after Joe Kennedy, Brad Halsey, Doug Slaten and Andy Marte. The D-backs issued a statement from Derrick Hall, which said:
“We are heartbroken with this tragic news. Tyler began his Major League career as a Diamondback and he will always be remembered here as a great teammate and wonderful young man. His family is in our thoughts and prayers during this challenging time.”
There’s not much more than that which needs to be said, and we can only agree with that statement. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.