PHOENIX -- The Angels' rotation took another hit on Monday, albeit a minor one, when Nick Tropeano came down with the flu and was scratched from his scheduled start.Tropeano is skipping his turn altogether, which means the earliest he will pitch in another game is Saturday, at home against the
PHOENIX -- The Angels' rotation took another hit on Monday, albeit a minor one, when Nick Tropeano came down with the flu and was scratched from his scheduled start.
Tropeano is skipping his turn altogether, which means the earliest he will pitch in another game is Saturday, at home against the Padres. The 25-year-old right-hander has made three Cactus League starts, his last one being four innings, and would have another two or three before the season begins.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tropeano "still has a chance to be ready for us at the start of the season," but it's no longer a certainty -- and the Angels' rotation doesn't have much margin for error these days.
C.J. Wilson (shoulder tendinitis) and Tyler Skaggs (recovery from Tommy John surgery) will both start the season on the disabled list. Then there's Jered Weaver, still trying desperately to rekindle some life on his fastball, and Matt Shoemaker, who has given up 13 runs in 14 innings.
If Weaver, previously bothered by tightness around his neck, doesn't start the year on the DL, Tropeano would seemingly be competing with Shoemaker for the fifth spot of the rotation, with Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and Hector Santiago making up the rest.
"There's still a schedule that has him ready to go and be in the running for one of our rotation spots," Scioscia said of Tropeano. "He's not knocked out because of this."
Simmons:Andrelton Simmons started his fourth consecutive game at designated hitter on Monday but will return to shortstop by Thursday, at the latest, Scioscia said. Simmons, eight days removed from playing shortstop in a game, has been dealing with soreness in his arm throughout spring, but he has continually played catch and still has plenty of time to be ready for defense by the start of the season.
The 26-year-old started the first Cactus League game at DH, then made his next seven starts at shortstop before a recent run of games at DH. Simmons, who went 0-for-4 against the Brewers on Monday, feels ready to return to shortstop on Tuesday, but Scioscia is seemingly leaning toward letting him have a full workout on defense first and then starting him there the following game. The Angels are off on Wednesday.
Weaver: Weaver's next start will come in a Major League game on Friday, against the A's in Mesa, Ariz. Weaver hasn't pitched in an official Cactus League game since struggling against the Dodgers on March 9, a game that saw him top out at 81 mph and go in for an MRI on his neck the following morning.
Weaver started in a Minor League game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Sunday, recording 11 outs, giving up three runs and throwing 67 pitches. Weaver's fastball velocity reportedly remained the same, mostly between 79 and 81 mph, but Scioscia said he's "moving in the right direction. From what I understand, if you talk with Weave, he was free and easy."
Skaggs: Skaggs got his wish -- the 24-year-old left-hander will pitch in his first Spring Training game on Thursday, against the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz. Skaggs, who pitched in a simulated game on Saturday, is slated to throw two innings, likely the seventh and eighth. "Hyped," Skaggs said of pitching in a Major League game via text.
Cunningham: A CT scan on Todd Cunningham's bothersome left wrist showed no fractures, permitting the young outfielder to continue playing as tolerated. Cunningham initially hurt the wrist while making a catch against the A's on March 3. The 27-year-old switch-hitter has played in nine games since, including during his birthday on Sunday, and has gone 7-for-19 in that stretch.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.