ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani continues to inch closer to returning to pitch for the Angels.Ohtani is expected to throw off the mound on Saturday for the first time since receiving stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma injections to treat the sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on June 7. Manager
ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani continues to inch closer to returning to pitch for the Angels.
Ohtani is expected to throw off the mound on Saturday for the first time since receiving stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma injections to treat the sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on June 7. Manager Mike Scioscia said it will be a "touch and feel" bullpen session, meaning it will not be performed at maximum effort.
"It will be the beginning stages of throwing off the mound, so the effort level will be monitored, and the reps will be monitored," Scioscia said Tuesday.
Ohtani, who has not pitched since June 6, has already progressed to throwing from 120 feet in his long-toss program. On Monday, he performed dry throws off the bullpen mound with a towel in his right hand. Scioscia said the drill was meant to help get Ohtani reacclimated to the slope of the mound.
Barring any setbacks, Ohtani could potentially return to pitch in September.
Prior to the elbow injury, Ohtani went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 49 1/3 innings for the Angels. He spent a month on the disabled list before returning exclusively as a left-handed hitter on July 3. Ohtani, 24, is batting .268 with an .866 OPS, 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in 61 games this season.
Tropeano lands on disabled list, Jerez called up
One day after prematurely departing his start against the Tigers, Nick Tropeano was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation for the third time this season. The 27-year-old right-hander has battled shoulder issues throughout the season and missed 31 games during his most recent DL stint.
Tropeano said that he felt his right shoulder tighten during his pregame warmups on Tuesday, which eventually forced him to exit after throwing only 62 pitches over five innings. He was initially hopeful that he would be able to avoid the DL and make his next scheduled start against the A's on Sunday.
To replace Tropeano on the roster, the Angels called up left-handed reliever Williams Jerez from Triple-A Salt Lake. It was the first big league callup for the 26-year-old Jerez, who was acquired from the Red Sox as part of the Ian Kinsler trade last week.
"I feel very happy," Jerez said in Spanish. "I've been fighting for this since I signed, trying to achieve my goal, and I've accomplished it. But there's still work to do. Now I have to keep working hard to stay here in the big leagues for a long time."
Jerez said he was surprised when he learned that he had been traded to the Angels along with fellow Triple-A reliever Ty Buttrey, though he was grateful for the opportunity to join the organization.
"It surprised me a lot because I wasn't expecting it," Jerez said. "I was pitching in a game, and all of a sudden they pulled me, and I was like, 'What happened?' After the game, they gave me the news that I had been traded to another team. I was very happy."
Jerez has logged a 3.62 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 54 2/3 innings between Triple-A Pawtucket and Salt Lake. He has a three-pitch mix that includes a fastball that averages 95 mph and has touched 100 mph, an above-average splitter and an average slider.
"He's a power left-handed arm that we're going to be excited to take a look at, for sure," Scioscia said.
27 turns 27
Michael Trout (right wrist contusion) was out of the lineup for the sixth consecutive game on Tuesday, which prevented him from taking the field on his 27th birthday. Trout is one of four players with at least 1,100 hits and 600 walks before turning 27, joining Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott and Mickey Mantle. His 61.9 career WAR is the second-highest all time by a position player by their 27th birthday, behind only Ty Cobb.
Trout spent part of his birthday visiting the Children's Hospital of Orange County along with his wife, Jessica, and was serenaded by some of the young patients. The Angels are hoping Trout will be able to return to action on Friday against the A's.
• Rene Rivera (right knee surgery) was slated to play five innings behind the plate in his first rehab game with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Tuesday.
• Tyler Skaggs (left adductor strain) will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday to determine whether he will be able to come off the disabled list on Saturday and start against the A's.
• Matthew Shoemaker (right forearm surgery) threw 20 fastballs during a bullpen session on Monday and said he was "very encouraged" by the workout. He is slated to throw off the mound again on Wednesday and expects to begin working in all his pitches by this weekend.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.