ANAHEIM -- Just as the Angels' rotation looked like it was starting to take shape, it's been dealt another blow.
Right-hander Nick Tropeano, whose 3.12 ERA entering Monday's 9-5 Angels win over the Rangers was the best among anyone in the rotation, left with right elbow soreness after throwing just two innings. He will have imaging done Tuesday and be evaluated then, the club announced.
The right-hander said he initially felt some discomfort during warmups, but continued to pitch until his elbow stiffened in the second. He then alerted manager Mike Scioscia, who removed him from the game.
"Any time a pitcher obviously has some discomfort in the area of his elbow, you're naturally going to be concerned," Scioscia said. "We're just going to hope and pray that it's nothing significant."
Tropeano compared the feeling in his elbow to what he normally feels the day after he pitches. He continued to pitch until his performance faltered.
"It was one of those things where I wanted to pitch, the nature of the beast is you want to play," Tropeano said. "I wasn't really helping the team, so I said something and we took the proper measures."
Tropeano was unable to complete five innings for the first time in 13 starts this season. He gave up three home runs, including back-to-back shots from Rougned Odor and Adrian Beltre in the first inning, and was on the hook for four runs on 43 pitches.
He was replaced by right-hander and former starter Jhoulys Chacin, who worked four scoreless innings as the Angels came back from a 4-0 deficit. Chacin could take Tropeano's spot if the results of Tuesday's MRI aren't promising.
Elbow injuries have hampered the rotation, with Andrew Heaney out for the season with Tommy John surgery and ace Garrett Richards awaiting results on healing in his elbow to see if he will also undergo the same procedure.
"With everything that's gone on with some of our pitchers, we hope this isn't going to be another big blow for us," Scioscia said. "We're just going take this one step, and hopefully Nick will be OK."
Should Tropeano not be available to take his next turn, the Angels could also turn to Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs, who is slated to start Tuesday with Triple-A Salt Lake, is the reigning Pacific Coast League Player of the Week and struck out 14 in seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his last outing. The lefty hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2014, as he is 23 months removed from Tommy John surgery.
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.