Tyler Skaggs had persevered through injuries to be a valuable pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.
The left-hander had posted a photo of himself and teammates in cowboy hats for their weeklong trip to Texas where he was set to start on the Fourth of July holiday.
The 27-year-old pitcher died Monday, when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas, stunning Major League Baseball and leading to the postponement of Los Angeles’ series opener against the Rangers.
Skaggs was “an important part of the Angels Family,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Carli, and his entire family during this devastating time.”
Police said they were investigating but that no foul play was suspected. Skaggs was pronounced dead at the scene.
Skaggs, who would have turned 28 on July 13 and was married just seven months ago, had been a regular in the Angels’ starting rotation since late 2016, when the left-hander returned from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with injuries repeatedly in that time but was 7-7 in 15 starts this season to help an injury-plagued rotation.
In his cowboy-themed Instagram post Sunday, Skaggs wrote “Howdy y’all” and made reference to the Texas trip for games against the Rangers and the Houston Astros this weekend.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “deeply saddened” by Skaggs’ death.
“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.