Tropeano still in running for fifth spot, despite rough outing

Angels starter gives up seven runs on eight hits in four-plus in B game

Tropeano still in running for fifth spot, despite rough outing

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- While Andrew Heaney was struggling through a five-run second inning against the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday, Nick Tropeano, Heaney's main competition for the fifth spot of the Angels' rotation, was getting hit around at a B game in Mesa, Ariz.

Tropeano gave up seven runs on eight hits in four-plus innings against a lineup made up mostly of Cubs Minor Leaguers. He served up two homers, one of them to premier prospect Kris Bryant. But he also struck out eight batters, including five of the last six he faced, and walked none.

Tropeano called it "one of those tough-luck days, those battle days. You're going to have those in baseball. I felt like my stuff was good and my offspeed was much better this time out. It kind of showed with the strikeouts."

Heaney looks like a front-runner to crack the Angels' rotation out of Spring Training, but Tropeano remains a legitimate candidate and neither has impressed with the raw numbers. Heaney has given up nine runs in 9 1/3 innings and Tropeano has given up 12 runs (10 earned) in 10 1/3 innings if you count the B game.

"I feel like my stuff's been good," Tropeano said. "[Velocity's] been there, and it's just one of those things that's going to progressively get better as the season goes."

Worth noting

• Angels manager Mike Scioscia has gone through a lot of potential lineups with his coaching staff lately, and some of them have Josh Hamilton in them, even though the Angels have no idea when the high-priced outfielder will return from injury or a potential suspension.

"We know we're not going to have him for Opening Day," Scioscia said, "so we've looked at both and you have to be prepared to go either way."

• The Angels made six additional roster cuts on Friday morning, with Sherman Johnson, Alex Yarbrough, Ryan Wheeler, Charles Cutler, Jett Bandy and Alex Sanabia being sent to Minor League camp. Their Spring Training roster is at 42.

• Heaney and Tropeano will both pitch on the same day again Tuesday, with one of them pitching against the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., and the other pitching in a Minor League game.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.