The Houston Astros have had a difficult month. Here's one bit of good news however: right-hander Nick Tropeano is back in action for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He went on the disabled list in late June with "arm tightness" but was activated this past Sunday and made an adequate start against Nashville, going five innings, allowing three hits and four runs with two walks, but fanning six. The important thing was that he looked like himself physically and appears past the arm issue.
Tropeano has now made 14 starts and three relief appearances for the RedHawks, posting a 2.64 ERA (very impressive for the Pacific Coast League) with an 87/24 K/BB in 92 innings, allowing 64 hits.
A fifth round pick in 2011 from Stony Brook, he features a low-90s fastball, a superior changeup, and an average slider. PCL observers report that improving fastball command has been the key to his success this year. Assuming no further health concerns, he doesn't have much left to prove in the minors and should be ready for a big league trial soon, projecting as a number four starter.