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Angels option Tropeano, 4 others to minor leagues

Preparing to set their 25-man roster, the Angels optioned five players to minor league camp on Monday, including Nick Tropeano, who will report to Triple-A Salt Lake City. The defending American League West champions will begin the season without the former pitching prospect on their opening day roster, according to Tim Mead of Angels.com (on Twitter).

Tropeano spent most of last season in Salt Lake City, and the 25-year-old right-hander will return to the Mountain Time Zone to acquire additional seasoning while veteran Matt Shoemaker, it appears, will occupy the No. 5 spot in the Halos’ initial 2016 rotation.

The 25-year-old Tropeano dropped his ERA by nearly a point upon joining the Angels last season, putting together a 3.82 figure in seven starts after amassing a 4.81 mark in 16 starts and 88 innings in Triple-A. A former Astros fifth-round selection that joined the Angels when they sent Hank Conger to the Astros in 2014, Tropeano figures to be back in Los Angeles soon. C.J. Wilson still doesn’t have a target date for a return.

Tropeano represents one of the youthful arms in the Halos’ potential rotation, along with Andrew Heaney, a Marlins first-round pick in 2012. Tropeano’s fastball began to hit 95-mph after his promotion last season, one that graduated him from prospect status as he eclipsed 50-frame big league plateau.

This will be the third straight season, however, that Tropeano has started in Triple-A. He broke Astros spring training in 2014 in Oklahoma City.

The Angels also sent left-handed pitcher Lucas Luetge, right-handers A.J. Achter and Javy Guerra, along with infielder Gregorio Petit to minor league camp.

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