Tuesday, July 2, 2019

RIP Tyler Skaggs

Twenty-seven is too young to die, but 27-year-olds die anyway. One such, on Monday, was Tyler Skaggs, starting pitcher for the Angels.

That's Skaggs in the upper left of the photo, with teammate Mike Trout, and Tony Oliva and Nelson Cruz of the Twins, during a visit this spring to a children's hospital in Orange County. There was some sort of reciprocal visit arrangement this season, with Angels accompanying Twins on a similar visit in the Twin Cities, and Skaggs was part of that too.

Looking at Skaggs' stat lines was a bit surprising. There's not as much there as I expected. I had, from a distance, sort of accepted the notion that he was the best starter in the Anaheim rotation, and indeed he was, at least this year. But that's a low bar to clear. The Angels have not been known in recent years to keep starters healthy or effective, and his stat line reflects a year lost to Tommy John surgery. His career high in innings pitched was just 125.

The best that can be said for Skaggs as a pitcher was that he was developing, that he was figuring it out. He had the talent to be a quality starter, but he really had not established himself as one. And now he never will.

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