Nick Tropeano was activated off the disabled list and optioned to triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, a move that did not sit well with the 25-year-old right-hander.
“I’m not too happy right now,” said Tropeano, sidelined by shoulder tightness since June 4. “I’m not sure what it means.”
Tropeano felt he earned the right to reclaim a rotation spot after going 3-2 with a 3.25 earned-run average in 10 starts, in which he struck out 54 and walked 28 in 55 1/3 innings.
He could easily make the case that he is a better option than Jhoulys Chacin, who went 1-1 with a 3.73 ERA in his first five starts after being acquired from Atlanta in May but is 1-2 with a 10.22 ERA in his last three starts.
Tropeano’s ERA is also better than the other four starters — Matt Shoemaker, Hector Santiago, Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum.
But it appears the Angels, who lost their top two starters (Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney) to elbow injuries and two others (C.J. Wilson and Tyler Skaggs) to shoulder injuries, want to give Chacin one more chance.
“No one is pleased when they’re sent down,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “Nick’s a competitor, and he wants to come up here and start to make footprints in the big leagues. We all feel he will, but right now, we’re going to go with these five guys.”
The move ensured the Angels of retaining some rotation depth. Chacin is out of options and would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minor leagues. Tropeano, who threw five innings for Class-A Inland Empire on Thursday, has options and can go back and forth between triple A and the big leagues.
Rookie catcher Jett Bandy earned his third straight start Friday night after collecting three hits Wednesday at Houston and hitting a three-run homer against the A’s on Thursday. Starter Carlos Perez is hitting .186 with a .520 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
“Like any position, when a player performs well, you’re going to earn more playing time,” Scioscia said. “Jett’s playing good baseball now, and we want him to stay in there while he’s playing well.”
But no matter how well Bandy hits, he wouldn’t catch much for the defense-oriented Scioscia if he hadn’t made strides behind the plate.
“He’s starting to understand a game plan, adjusting from a game plan, learning the league,” Scioscia said. “He’s done a great job moving forward and absorbing some things, and hopefully he’ll continue to grow. When you make the major leagues as a catcher, it’s just the beginning of your development.”
Umpire Paul Emmel, who needed stitches to close a deep gash on his head after he was hit by the bat of Angels pinch-hitter Jefry Marte in the ninth inning Thursday night, was replaced on the crew by Ben May for the rest of this series.