ANAHEIM — Nick Tropeano is an example of one tangible way in which the Angels have changed the way they rehab their pitchers.
Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs both had Tommy John surgery in August, which didn’t leave enough time to pitch in the majors the following season.
Tropeano, though, is aiming to pitch in this fall’s instructional league, about 14 months after his surgery. Skaggs didn’t face a batter in the calendar year following his 2014 surgery, waiting until spring training 2016.
Obviously, part of the difference is that Tropeano and Skaggs are different people, and their rehabs won’t be identical. But also, there seems to be an organizational idea now that, if possible, it’s worth it to have a pitcher throw in some type of game, even instructional league, before the offseason.
“If I had Tommy John surgery and I had a chance to pitch at a level before coming back in spring training and competing for a job, I would feel it would be important to do that, to know I’m coming into spring training, knowing I’ve already been off the high dive,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I’ve done it. I’ve pitched. I’m ready to go. I think it helps in the spring to focus on things like winning a spot and competing.”
Tropeano’s rehab so far has gone pretty much according to plan, without any setbacks. He said he’s been throwing off a mound twice a week. In mid-August, he will take a break for about a week, then return and start prepping to face hitters.
He could pitch in instructional league as long as he’s ready before mid-October. Garrett Richards did the same thing last year, with his final tuneup convincing the Angels he’d be ready to go into spring training. Richards was fine throughout the spring, before developing a separate injury in April.
“Hopefully I’ll get into a couple games there so I’ll head into the offseason ready to go for ’18,” Tropeano said.
Yunel Escobar remained on the active roster on Monday, while the Angels awaited results of an MRI on his strained intercostal muscle. Scioscia said Escobar was still feeling tightness on Monday. …
Cameron Maybin was activated on Monday, less than three weeks after suffering a sprained knee. He returned to the starting lineup and the leadoff spot, sending hot-hitting Ben Revere to the bench. “Ben will get some looks,” Scioscia said. “He’s been obviously swinging the bat very well. He did a great job while Cam was out.” …
Andrew Heaney, who had…