SOUTHLAKE, Texas - The medical examiner found that Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died with drugs and alcohol in his system while at a North Texas hotel while his team was in town to play the Rangers.
The Los Angeles Angels and Skaggs' family were shocked at the news, and promise to find out how this happened.
According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, Skaggs died of "terminal aspiration of gastric contents," from Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and alcohol. This means he choked on his vomit.
"That’s a triple threat, as far as alcohol, Fentynal and Oxycodone,” said Joe Powel, CEO of the Association of Persons Affected By Addiction. “All three of those are depressant opiates, and that’s what opiates do. They will depress the symptoms, all of the organs in the body.”
Skaggs, 27, died on July 1. His body was found in a Hilton hotel room in Southlake. Skaggs left behind a wife. The two had only been married seven months.
At the time, police said no foul play was suspected. The Angels organization said it has been cooperating with the Southlake Police Department.
Friday, Angels Manager Brad Ausmus held a press conference after the cause of death was released.
“I was a little surprised by it because I had no prior notice,” he said. “Doesn’t change anything, still lost a teammate, lost a friend.”
In addition to alcohol, Fentanyl and Oxycodone, toxicology results found that Skaggs tested positive for Oxymorphone – another narcotic pain reliever.
Skaggs had struggled with repeated injuries.
Powell said it's possible for a person to feel like they've built up a tolerance and accidentally overmedicate.
“When you are prescribing medications like that, then you have to be monitored, you know what I mean. It has to be someone to watch and make sure you are really taking it as prescribed,” Powell added.
Skaggs’ family released a statement, saying in part:
“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 will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics..."
The game between the Angels and Rangers was canceled the day of his death, and there was no music played at Globe Life Park when the two teams played the day after his death.
The Angels pitched a no-hitter in the team's first home game after Skaggs’ death.