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Tropeano to get first look in Halos' rotation battle

Right-hander expected to pitch 2 innings in return from TJ surgery
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nick Tropeano will take another key step in his comeback from Tommy John surgery on Friday at 12:05 p.m. PT, when he starts the Angels' Cactus League opener against the A's in Mesa (watch live on MLB.TV). The outing will be Tropeano's first time facing Major League hitters since August 2016.

"I've been working for this day ever since the injury," Tropeano said Thursday. "There's going to be some nerves in there, obviously, even in a first Spring Training game. Results would just be a bonus if they're good, but I'm just looking to come out of there as healthy as possible."

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nick Tropeano will take another key step in his comeback from Tommy John surgery on Friday at 12:05 p.m. PT, when he starts the Angels' Cactus League opener against the A's in Mesa (watch live on MLB.TV). The outing will be Tropeano's first time facing Major League hitters since August 2016.

"I've been working for this day ever since the injury," Tropeano said Thursday. "There's going to be some nerves in there, obviously, even in a first Spring Training game. Results would just be a bonus if they're good, but I'm just looking to come out of there as healthy as possible."

Angels Spring Training info | Tickets

Tropeano will likely pitch the first two innings of the game and will be followed by Parker Bridwell and Osmer Morales.

Ohtani to debut from mound on Saturday

Tropeano showed promise before undergoing Tommy John surgery, logging a 3.56 ERA over 68 1/3 innings in 2016. The 27-year-old right-hander missed the 2017 season while rehabbing, though he pitched in instructional league last fall and worked up to six innings and 100 pitches.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Tropeano said his velocity has returned to its normal levels, with his fastball sitting in the 91-92 mph range and topping out at 94-95 mph during his latest bullpen session. He is expected to compete with Bridwell and JC Ramirez for the sixth spot in the Angels' rotation this spring.

"I think 'Trop' has kind of flown a little under the radar in a lot of circles," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We know what he can do, and we're excited to have him back healthy."

Young sidelined
Outfielder Chris Young said he suffered a Grade-1 right calf strain while doing running drills on Tuesday, his second day with the Angels. He expects to be in a walking boot for about 10 more days before returning to action.

The 34-year-old veteran signed a one-year, $2 million deal on Sunday and will likely serve as the club's fourth outfielder this season.

Angels create support banner for Stoneman Douglas
Angels players signed a huge banner that will be sent to Stoneman Douglas High School to show support for the community in Parkland, Fla., after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14. All 30 Major League teams will wear Stoneman Douglas caps before their Spring Training games this weekend, with signed caps being auctioned to raise money for the victims' families.

Tweet from @mi_guardado: Angels players are signing this banner, which will be sent to Stoneman Douglas High School. pic.twitter.com/2Pexxj1NSu

New arrival
General manager Billy Eppler and his wife, Catherine, welcomed a healthy, 8 1/2-pound baby son on Thursday.

"Though mom is resting comfortably, 'negotiations' continue regarding the name," the Angels said.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Nick Tropeano