Chico returns from Tommy John

Matt Chico has been officially taken off the disabled list as he was optioned to AA-Harrisburg last night.  

The Lefty underwent reconstructive Tommy John surgery last July after a disappointing 2008 campaign.

The 25-year-old went 0-6 with a 6.19 ERA in eight starts last year to start the season. Chico was shut down in late May 2008.

The Nats are hoping he can regain his 2007 form where as a rookie he made 31 starts and posted a respectable 4.63, not bad for a then 24-year-old.

The good news for Chico is there is no rush for him to return. The Nats are pretty well endowed in the starting pitching category, so he can take as much time as he needs to regain command of his fastball and off-speed pitches,  pump up his velocity, and most importantly gain confidence.

There is really no way to know if Chico will ever be the same pitcher again. Tommy John surgery has been a great success for a lot of pitchers, but some also never recover.  The good news for Chico though is that he’s young, and has the time to rebuild his repertoire with a brand new arm. My guess is that he could be in the Nationals bullpen as early as September 2009.