Matt Chico is a name that many new Nationals fans may not be too familiar, despite starting more games than any other Washington Nationals pitcher in 2007. Actually, new fans may not know several names from the 2007 pitching staff roster. Although, there are some avid Matt Chico fans out there!
A little background information:
Matt Chico made his MLB Debut on April 4, 2007 and started a total of thirty-one games with 167.0 innings pitched. Jason Bergmann had the second most starts in 2007, which were ten less than Chico, with twenty-one and 51.9 innings less than Matt.
In other words, Matt Chico was the solid starter of the revolving 2007 rotation consisting of Jason Bergmann, Mike Bacsik, Shawn Hill, Tim Redding and Jason Simontacchi. Micah Bowie and Levale Speigner spent time starting and in bullpen. John Patterson was the Opening Day pitcher and after a few starts, he went on the DL and didn't return. Jerome Williams got a handful of starts before going to minors. John Lannan and Joel Hanrahan were both called up in late July for a few starts. Yes, Hanrahan was a starter in 2007. In fact, Joel started the very last Nationals home game at RFK on September 23, 2007 (that is a good thing to remember for trivia).
Unfortunately, Matt Chico was never able to repeat his rookie success. He suffered an injury in 2008 and had Tommy John surgery by Dr. James Andrews. After close to a year, he returned to the mound and rehabbed at all levels in the minor leagues since and only pitched one time at Nationals Park. He made a spot start on May 8, 2010 and pitched five quality innings giving up six hits, two runs, no walks and struck out three.
There were rumors that he might stay up and get a second chance, however, he was sent back down immediately after game. Chico really got a raw deal. The lefty carried the 2007 rotation and seemed to be banished from the bigs. The Nationals finally cut their ties with Chico when he was released from the Double-A Harrisburg Senators on July 21, 2011.
So what is Matt Chico doing now?
Until he heads south for Winter Ball, he is focusing on his health and wellness and has become an independent distributor for ViSalus Sciences. Check out his website and like his Facebook page.
Nats News Network wishes Matt and his wife Stephanie the best. The couple is expecting their third child next month.