Struggling to keep five arms in the starting rotation, the York Revolution signed former big league left-hander Matt Chico.
Chico last pitched in the majors in 2010. He also saw time in the majors in 2007 and 2008 — all with Washington. He split last season between rookie ball, Double- and Triple-A in the Nats organization. He pitched 10 games in relief for Double-A Harrisburg.
Chico will make his first start for the Revs tonight (Monday), taking a spot in the rotation vacated by right-hander Shawn Hill — who signed with the Blue Jays Sunday. Hill is the second Revs starter to sign a deal with an organization this month. Lefty Ryan Feierabend also left the team in June, inking a deal with the Reds that landed him in Triple-A Louisville.
Chico started the 2012 season with the independent New Jersey Jackals, going 0-4 with a 9.39 ERA. The Jackals play in the Canadian-American Associaton — more commonly called the Can-Am League. Not as strong as the Atlantic League, the Can-Am League limits the number of players with pro experience each team can sign. A typical Can-Am team can contain players with little to no pro experience. The Atlantic League has no limitations — except for budgetary concerns — on what type of players can be signed. Typically, Atlantic League teams do not sign players who have never appeared in pro baseball.
The Revs rotation this week will feature: Matt Chico (Monday), Corey Thurman (Tuesday, Game 1), Chris Waters (Tuesday, Game 2), Omar Javier (Wednesday), and Chris Cody (Friday). Three of York’s starters (Chico, Waters and Cody) are left-handed. Another left-hander, James Houser, has made two spot starts for York but does not have the stamina yet to be in the rotation permanently. Houser underwent heart surgery to repair an enlarged aorta and missed all of 2011. His off-day cardio workouts have been limited to using mostly a stationary bike, pitching coach Mark Mason said. The plan at the beginning of the season was to slowly work Houser up to starting again.