Hanson, 26, was in his Braves days regarded as one of the best young arms in baseball, but shoulder and arm problems have kept him from realizing his potential. This season, he's pitched to a 5.59 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 1.86 K/BB ratio in 67 2/3 innings. In a surely related matter, Hanson's fastball has sat in the 80s since 2011.
To Hanson's credit, he seems understand why the surprising move came to pass:
Demoted #Angels RH Tommy Hanson: "It wasn't tough. I wasn't performing. I've got to get better with my command, getting guys out."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) August 13, 2013
If you want the story of the Angels' 2013 rotation writ small, then look no further than Tommy Hanson, minor-leaguer.
As for Vargas (3.65 ERA in 14 starts this season), the 30-year-old lefty will be activated in time to start Tuesday against the Yankees, and in doing so will make his first appearance since he suffered a blood clot in his shoulder on June 18. He underwent surgery to correct the condition on June 26.