Major League Baseball

With heavy hearts, Angels prepare to face Rangers

mlb8ANGELS (42-43) AT RANGERS (46-38)
8:05 p.m. ET; FSSW, FS-W, MLB.TV

The Los Angeles Angels are set to return to the baseball field for the first time since the death of starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room from an undetermined cause on Monday afternoon in Southlake, Texas.

The series opener against the Texas Rangers scheduled for Monday night was postponed until August, and the series is scheduled to get underway on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.

“Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now,” Angels center fielder Mike Trout tweeted on Monday night. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts. … We love you, 45.”

Skaggs was in his fifth season with the Angels, who drafted him out of Santa Monica High School in 2009, about two months after Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver hours after making his season debut against the visiting Oakland A’s.

Skaggs last pitched on Saturday night against the A’s at Angel Stadium, and he was set to start the series finale against the Rangers on Thursday.

Skaggs had faced the Rangers twice already this season, both times in Anaheim, and delivered two of his better outings. He combined to limit them to one run and eight hits over 12 innings on April 6 and May 25.

“He wasn’t a guy that I enjoyed having to go up against,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters on Monday. “It seemed like, whether I was in Seattle or L.A. or here, he gave all the teams I coached fits. It was a really promising arm. …

“I wanted to know, personally, who he was. Everybody spoke very, very highly of him from a character standpoint. He was a guy who was tough to root against because you had heard such good things.”

Skaggs was matched against fellow left-hander Mike Minor in his most recent appearance against the Rangers.

Minor, who was scheduled to pitch the series opener on Monday, will take the ball on Tuesday.

Minor (8-4, 2.40 ERA) learned on Sunday that he was chosen to pitch in the All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland.

Also selected from the Rangers were outfielder Joey Gallo and designated hitter Hunter Pence, giving the Rangers three All-Stars for the first time since 2013.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, but it has paid off,” Minor told reporters on Sunday. “The last couple of years, I feel like, were really about getting healthy and staying healthy. This year, I wanted it to be more about results on the field. I like that I can look around the room now and say I’m an All-Star.”

Minor has won his past three starts, helping him take over the American League ERA lead.

The Angels recalled Jose Suarez from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, and he is expected to make the start on Tuesday, but Griffin Canning also would be available on four days’ rest.

Suarez (2-1, 5.57 ERA) most recently went five innings at Toronto on June 20 in his fourth major league start. He surrendered five runs and eight hits, including three home runs, and did not receive a decision in the Angels’ 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

After his most recent demotion, Suarez pitched 5 1/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday, allowing two runs (both unearned) on two hits and four walks. He struck out eight.

–Field Level Media

Leave a Reply