ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano's corner locker was conspicuously empty in the Angels' clubhouse on Sunday morning, as the 27-year-old right-hander is heading to Arizona for the next step of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tropeano will continue his throwing program at the Angels' training complex
ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano's corner locker was conspicuously empty in the Angels' clubhouse on Sunday morning, as the 27-year-old right-hander is heading to Arizona for the next step of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tropeano will continue his throwing program at the Angels' training complex in Tempe, Ariz., with the goal of pitching in the instructional league this fall.
"Trop will definitely pitch off the mound and pitch in games before the winter's over as he finishes up his rehab, just to get a great frame of mind for going into Spring Training, knowing that he's healthy," Scioscia said.
Tropeano, who underwent the surgery on his right elbow last August, has been throwing up-down bullpen sessions to simulate breaks between innings, and he'll soon progress to facing hitters. After that, he is expected to begin pitching in simulated games and should be ready for game action once the instructional league opens in mid-September.
"By that time, he should be built up enough in his workouts to where he can get into a game and start to pitch," Scioscia said. "I think he's got the opportunity by the end of the fall to get to that five-slash-six-inning range and see how he bounces back, see how he maintains his stuff, all of the things that you hope to get out of the way before next season."
• Garrett Richards, who has been out for nearly five months with an irritated nerve in his right biceps, is scheduled to throw three innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday. Richards has not pitched in a game since departing his season debut against the A's on April 5.
• Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) is slated to play in a pair of rehab games on Tuesday and Wednesday at Class A Advanced Inland Empire.
• Blake Wood, who was claimed off waivers from the Reds on Friday, made his Angels debut on Saturday night, pitching a scoreless eighth and picking up the win after the club rallied for a 7-6 win over the Astros.
"He's got a big arm," Scioscia said.
• Cliff Pennington started at second base against the Astros on Sunday in place of Kaleb Cowart, who is mired in a 5-for-48 slump and has seen his batting average dip to .238 in 29 games this season.
"Kaleb doesn't have to change a lot," Scioscia said. "It's just the confidence you have to carry. He came out swinging the bat very well, and right now, if you look at the big picture, he's swinging the bat the best he has in his life. To carry that over on a consistent basis is a different matter when you're talking about playing in the big leagues. And like most young players, that's what he's dealing with right now."
• Left fielder Ben Revere returned to the Angels' lineup on Sunday after missing four games with a bruised left knee.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.