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Tropeano closing in on return to Angels

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano is one step closer to returning to the Angels' rotation after tossing five scoreless innings in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Saturday. Tropeano, who landed on the disabled list on June 15 with right shoulder inflammation, allowed only two hits, walked none and struck out four in the 52-pitch outing.

"I felt pretty good," Tropeano said Sunday. "I was kind of just trying to get my feet back underneath me. I hadn't been on the mound in a little bit. I felt good, just tried to work all my pitches really. Obviously, the results really don't matter, so I just felt good coming out of it."

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ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano is one step closer to returning to the Angels' rotation after tossing five scoreless innings in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Saturday. Tropeano, who landed on the disabled list on June 15 with right shoulder inflammation, allowed only two hits, walked none and struck out four in the 52-pitch outing.

"I felt pretty good," Tropeano said Sunday. "I was kind of just trying to get my feet back underneath me. I hadn't been on the mound in a little bit. I felt good, just tried to work all my pitches really. Obviously, the results really don't matter, so I just felt good coming out of it."

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Tropeano said he's scheduled to throw a bullpen on Tuesday and will be evaluated after that to see when he'll be able to fold back into the Angels' rotation. The 27-year-old right-hander said he feels he could make his next start in the Majors, though he acknowledged that the decision is out of his hands.

"I feel like I could," Tropeano said. "I just want to see how I bounce back these next two or three days between this bullpen. It's obviously not my call, but I feel like I'll be ready to go. Hopefully everything -- knock on wood -- checks out."

Tropeano was 3-4 with a 4.83 ERA over 54 innings for the Angels prior to the injury.

The Angels could also get left-hander Tyler Skaggs back in their rotation this week. Skaggs, who was placed on the DL on July 4 with a right adductor strain, was scheduled to throw a bullpen on Sunday and could return to pitch against the Mariners on Thursday if he comes out of the session well. Skaggs has been the Angels' best starter this season, going 6-5 with a 2.64 ERA over 92 innings.

Video: LAA@SEA: Cozart exits with a left shoulder strain

Cozart disappointed by season-ending surgery
Zack Cozart's first season with the Angels came to a premature end last week after he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Cozart, who signed a three-year, $38 million deal over the offseason, said the surgery went well and shouldn't affect his readiness for Spring Training next year.

"I'm bummed," Cozart said. "You never want to end a season hurt. I love playing so much. I want to be out there with the guys. I don't like watching the games, knowing I can't do anything to help. It's just something that I have to deal with. Luckily, we got it done early enough to where it won't be an issue for spring training, or it shouldn't be."

Cozart suffered a left shoulder subluxation while attempting to dive for a groundball in Seattle on June 13. His shoulder had bounced back from similar injuries in the past, but Cozart didn't feel it stabilize it this time around.

"In the past, it had taken one, two, three days for the inflammation to calm down and then I was literally 100 percent fine, and it was never an issue because my strength was good around my labrum," Cozart said. "This time, it was a little different. I could swing, I could take ground balls, but I couldn't play catch because [my shoulder] was slipping.

"That's when I decided that I wanted to see another doc and see what they had to say. I was hoping that it would be good after a month, but unfortunately it was pretty clear after talking to him that I needed it done like right now because there was nothing I could do to really stabilize my shoulder at this point besides getting it fixed."

Cozart said he expects to resume hitting in four months. The 32-year-old infielder finished the season batting .219 with a .658 OPS, five home runs and 18 RBIs in 58 games.

Worth noting
• Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (forearm strain) said he is scheduled to begin a throwing progression on Tuesday. He will need several weeks to build up his arm, though he is optimistic that he will return to pitch this season.

Shoemaker made only one start for the Angels this season before landing on the disabled list April 3. He underwent surgery to decompress a nerve and repair the pronator teres tendon in his right forearm on May 29.

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

Los Angeles Angels, Nick Tropeano