Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died suffocating on his own vomit after taking a deadly mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol.
The official cause of the 27-year-old’s death was released on Friday after Skaggs was found dead in his Texas hotel room in July.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled the pitcher’s death was an accident.
A toxicology report found Skaggs had a lethal mix alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system when he died.
He also had ‘terminal aspiration of gastric contents’, which essentially means he suffocated on his own vomit.
The Southlake Police Department said it is still investigating Skaggs’ death even after his death was ruled an accident.
Skaggs’ family issued a statement soon after indicating that an Angels employee may have had some involvement and vowed not to rest until they learned how he came to be in possession of the narcotics.
‘We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol,’ the statement said.
‘That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.
‘We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death.
‘We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them.’
The Angels took to Twitter Friday writing: ‘Tyler was and always will be a beloved member of the Angels Family and we are deeply saddened to learn what caused this tragic death. Angels Baseball has provided our full cooperation and assistance to the Southlake Police as they conduct their investigation.’
Oxycodone is banned pursuant to Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement while fentanyl is labeled as a ‘drug of abuse’ under the agreement.
Skaggs had only married his wife Carli in December and they had plans to start a family.
Skaggs was found dead in his Hilton hotel room in Southlake near Dallas on July 1 before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.
He had posted a photo with his teammates getting ready to board a plane to Texas just one day before he died. Skaggs’ wife had also shared a Cowboy-theme image of him just hours before he was found dead.
The first match against the Rangers was postponed in the wake of his death.
Police revealed at the time that they did not suspect suicide.
Those who had spent time with him a day earlier had reported that he seemed ‘completely normal’.
Skaggs’ death laid bare the emotions of manager Brad Ausmus, star outfielder Mike Trout and fellow left-hander Andrew Heaney, his best friend on the team, along with the rest of his teammates and LA staff members.
The first game after Skaggs died was played without music or the usual in-game promotions for the Rangers, who painted his number ’45’ on the back of the mound at Globe Life Park.
The Southern California native was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2009 and made his big league debut with Arizona three years later after being traded.
Skaggs returned to the Angels in 2014 and missed all of the next season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.
He also spent more than three months on the disabled list in 2017 with a right oblique muscle strain.
Skaggs was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 96 career appearances, all starts.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Crane