LA Angels News

In Memory of Tyler Skaggs: Always and Forever an Angel

By Ryan Falla
TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white) Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels poses during a spring training photo day on February 26, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white) Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels poses during a spring training photo day on February 26, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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The road through the Majors was not an easy one for the young Tyler Skaggs. Time and time again he faced injury that derailed his seasons and stunted his star-tracked development. Skaggs missed time in 2014 and 2015 to Tommy John Surgery and 2017 saw him miss multiple months due to an oblique muscle strain. Even his best season as an Angel, which came in 2018, saw him struggle with multiple pulled muscles across the season. It never was an easy road for Tyler Skaggs, yet that difficulty only made Skaggs stronger. More resilient. Despite facing roadblock after roadblock Tyler Skaggs constantly found the strength to persevere and in doing so became a shining example of how to conquer the difficulties life will inevitably throw at us. Tyler Skaggs found motivation in his setbacks, in the face of difficulty he found nothing but the strength to overcome.

Before his injury in 2014 he was making history with the Angels; Tyler Wayne Skaggs became the second Angels left-handed pitcher to strike out at least 70 hitters in one season and earn five wins at the age of 22 or younger. The first Angel to make that mark? Jim Abbott. On top of that he was just the 4th Angels lefty who saw the team win his first 5 starts. Before he went down with injury in August of 2014 Skaggs had pitched to a 5-5 record and maintained a 4.50 ERA in 113 innings of work

The comeback road was a slow one for Tyler Skaggs. He missed all of 2015 due to Tommy John and in 2016 pitched just 49.2 innings of 4.17 ERA baseball with the Angels. He split his time between the Angels and the Minors as he pitched 32.1 successful innings across Class A Advanced, Double A, and Triple A. Unfortunately 2017 would see him miss three months of time in a season that saw him pitch just 85 innings with the team while maintaining a 4.55 ERA.

Tyler Skaggs was on the cusp of really coming into himself as a pitcher despite multiple years of setbacks. All he needed was one solid season where he could stay healthy as long as possible, us as fans knew this and the Angels organization knew this, but most of all Tyler Skaggs knew a healthy season would put him over the top.

At the age of 26 Tyler Skaggs finally found his breakthrough with the Angels. His 2018 season saw Skaggs live up to his potential as more than just a talented Major League pitcher, Skaggs was proving himself to be one of the better left-handed talents in baseball with a bright future laying ahead. 2018 saw Skaggs post career highs in innings pitched (125.1), K’s (129), starts (24), and wins (8) as well as a career best ERA (4.02). His K/9 of 9.3 and BB/9 of 2.9 sat as career best marks.

The best stretch of his career came in June of 2018 as he pitched 32 innings of 0.84 ERA baseball and posted one of the lowest ERAs in baseball for that month and set the Angels record for lowest ERA in the month of June by minimum of 30 IP. There were some struggles for Skaggs following that month, but from this month it became clear there was a world of potential waiting for Skaggs to tap into and he was just on the outside of fulfilling all of that talent. It seemed like life was truly starting for Tyler Skaggs in 2018. Not only did he have a career year in baseball, he had the year of lifetime and experienced one of the greatest moments of his life on New Years Eve of 2018.

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