As promised, Mike Trout has started stealing again. He procured his 13th base in 14 tries in Sunday's first inning, after trying 18 times all of last season and succeeding on only 11 occasions.
In his first full season, 2012, Trout stole a remarkable 49 bases in 54 attempts, one of the most efficient stealing seasons in baseball history. He then tried 40 times in 2013 and 18 times the next two years. He said during spring training he had to get his confidence back. Now, he has reversed the trend.
"He's picking his spots, he's getting his jumps," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's a positive."
The rest of the Angels have stolen 18 bases in 34 attempts, their success rate well below the major league average.
"We are going to stay as aggressive as we can," Scioscia said. "We're not a straight-steal club. We're not going to create as much with that, but we're putting guys in motion as much as we can. We've run into some, outs but we've created some things."
Tropeano to start Monday
The Angels will recall Nick Tropeano to start Monday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jhoulys Chacin has been demoted to the bullpen, where he will serve as the team's auxiliary long reliever.
While expected, the decision came sooner than expected. Chacin's start day would not come up until Wednesday, but this way the Angels will start Tim Lincecum and Jered Weaver on a week's rest each.
In 10 major league starts this season, Tropeano has a 3.25 earned-run average. In his lone triple-A outing, he struck out seven over 6 2/3 innings and yielded two runs. Chacin had a 6.11 ERA in 10 starts as an Angel. He stayed in the rotation when Tropeano was activated from the disabled list last month because Tropeano could be optioned and he could not.
Options to be removed from the roster for Tropeano include infielder Jefry Marte and right-handed relievers J.C. Ramirez and Deolis Guerra.
Scioscia would not say whether catcher Geovany Soto remains on track to join the team Tuesday, as previously said. He has refused to answer questions about the team's process in picking between Jett Bandy and Carlos Perez when Soto returns, although it now seems likely Bandy will be optioned. … Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will need at least two more starts before returning to the majors, Scioscia said, meaning July 17 is the soonest he could pitch for the Angels. "You have to be very flexible at this point to see what he needs," the manager said.