The Angels and star player Mike Trout shared their grief Wednesday in regards to the passing of Aaron Cox, Trout's brother-in-law and a former Minor League pitcher in the Angels' system. The cause of Cox's death has not been disclosed.
Cox, a native of Vineland, N.J., retired from baseball last week on the day after his 24th birthday. A right-hander, Cox pitched in parts of three seasons at the Rookie Level and Class A Advanced affiliates, going 7-3 with a 3.64 ERA overall. The Angels drafted Cox in the 19th round of the 2015 Draft.
"The Angels organization is saddened to hear of the passing of Aaron Cox, a member of the Angels family since 2015," the club shared in an official statement. "We are deeply heartbroken and shocked by this tragic loss. Our heartfelt prayers and condolences to his family and friends. Aaron will always have a special place in the hearts of those within the organization."
Cox overcame several setbacks in 2017. He missed the start of the season when he was hit in the eye ball during Spring Training, and then served a 50-game suspension last summer after he tested positive for the banned stimulant methylphenidate -- more commonly known as Ritalin. The drug is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy and can be covered by a Therapeutic Use Exemption, but players who test positive for the stimulant without previous approval are subject to a suspension.
Trout has not played since Aug. 1 because of right wrist inflammation, though he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday. He had been away from the Angels for undisclosed reasons. Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday that he is unsure when Trout will rejoin the Angels.
Trout and his wife, Jessica, released an official statement through the club to share their heartbreak at the loss of a loved one.
"Early this morning, our families lost a phenomenal human being," said the Trouts. "Aaron Cox was a tremendous son, brother, and brother-in-law. He had a deep love for his family, and a passionate dedication and commitment to his friends. As our families grieve together, we will also celebrate the memories, the laughter, and the love we each shared with Aaron in the short time we had him.
"He will forever be at the forefront in the hearts and minds of the Cox and Trout families. We will rely on the love and strength of God first and foremost during this difficult and challenging time, as well as our dear family and friends. We thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and our Lord and Savior for His precious gift of Aaron Joseph."