Tyler Skaggs' cause of death was accidental, according to an autopsy report released by the Tarrant County Medical Exmainer's Office on Aug. 30. Skaggs died with a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system, which caused him to choke on his own vomit, reports ABC News.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher was found dead in a Texas hotel room on Monday, July 1, hours before the Angels were scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. The 27-year-old Skaggs was born near Los Angeles in Woodland Hills, California and played for the Angels and Diamondbacks.
Skaggs was a star at Santa Monica High School and drafted by the Angels during the 2009 MLB draft. In 2010, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his MLB debut with the NL team in 2012. He was traded back to the Angels in 2013.
The left-handed pitcher's second tenure with his hometown team was plagued with injuries. He missed the entire 2015 season after needing Tommy John surgery and spent part of the 2018 season on the disabled list.
Scroll on for a look at what we know about Skaggs' cause of death and his death.
Photo credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images
According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office, their autopsy found Skaggs had a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. He choked on his own vomit, officials found. His death was ruled an accident, reports KTLA.
The day after Skaggs' death, USA Today reporter Gabe Lacques said the Tarrant County, Texas Medical Examiner will withhold autopsy results "per the family's request," until the final exam is completed. That was expected to not be until Oct. 2, the office estimated.
"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 Southlake Police Department said in a statement on July 1.
The Southlake Police Department quickly ruled out suicide. Police also ruled out foul play.
"In these early stages of the investigation, it does not appear at this time that suicide was the cause of death," the department told Star Telegram reporter Nichole Manna.
Earlier this week, the Santa Monica Observer came under fire for publishing a piece speculating that Skaggs' cause of death was an opioid overdose. However, police have not publicly shown any evidence to support that. The Observer's publisher said it ultimately took down the article because of the threats they received.
According to Deadline, police said there is no evidence to suggest Skaggs died from an overdose.
Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey also called the story "categorically incorrect. The cause of death is still under investigation. This sort of reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”
On July 12, the Angels opened the second half of the season at home, playing their first game in Anaheim since Skaggs death. Every player wore Skaggs' number 45 and the number was painted onto the mound. The Angels also asked Skaggs' mother to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
However, it was during the game that remarkable things happened. The Angels' pitching staff threw a combined no-hitter, the first of its kind in California since the Oakland A's no-hit the Baltimore Orioles on July 12, 1991 - the exact same day Skaggs was born.
The Angels also scored seven runs in the first inning, and finished the game with 13. Skaggs was born on 7-13. Even more bizarrely, Mike Trout hit a home run 454 feet, a number that included Skaggs' 45.
Journalist Dan Rather was asked if the public should know how Skaggs died. He told TooFab the family should make that information public because Skaggs was a "public person."
"Do I think the public should know about the death of that pitcher? You bet. I do think the public should know," Rather told TooFab. "I am aware that the family is entitled to some privacy, and if the family made a request for privacy, I did think seriously about that, but you know he was 27-years-old.... to be found under those circumstances. You bet, I think the public should know."
Rather said the family does have the right to "keep some things private," but since Skaggs was a public person, he believes the cause of death should be made public.
"Life is unpredictable. You never know, you're 27, you're having a great year, you're living your dream, boom it goes," Rather said. "This is a reminder of how fragile life is."
A source told TMZ there were no signs that anything was wrong with Skaggs in the days before his death.
"I was with him on Sunday. He seemed like himself," a source told the site.
Another source added, "There was no indication that anything was wrong." The second source called his death "shocking" since Skaggs pitched just two days before his death.
Skaggs is survived by his wife, Carli, whom he married last year. In an interview published just months before his death, the couple discussed the hardships they faced recently. The Southern California wildfires destroyed the venue they planned to marry at.
“This was important to us. But it was nothing compared to the way people’s lives were being impacted,” Tyler told Wealth Management. “A thousand things go into planning a wedding, but no one ever plans on their venue burning.”
Carli also revealed that they wanted to start a family someday.
"Tyler wants his children to be able to see him pitch," Carli said.
"He was in the prime of his life and the prime of his career... It's very tough," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said, reports CNN. "I walked into the ballpark today and saw the flowers and signs out front and that was special. I went for a run on the field and saw Tyler's picture on the board. It brings back some emotion."
The Angels plan to wear a No. 45 patch in Skaggs' memory for the rest of the 2019 season. They also plan to keep his locker intact, even on the road.
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