Cubs righthander Scott Feldman looks at bright side after rocky outing
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org March 5, 2013 11:10PM
Updated: March 6, 2013 7:02PM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Starter Scott Feldman looked at the bright side after a tough outing against the Rockies. You can do that in early March.
‘‘Fastball command [is] right where I want it to be,’’ Feldman said after allowing four runs (all earned) and six hits in two-plus innings Tuesday at Salt River Fields. ‘‘Health-wise, I feel great. I feel like my legs are under me and my arm’s caught up to where it needs to be.’’
Feldman, who had allowed one run in two innings in his first spring start, paid the price for walking catcher Wilin Rosario on four pitches with two outs in the first inning. On the next pitch, Todd Helton hit a two-run, ground-rule double that eluded a diving Matt Szczur in left field.
Feldman also allowed a two-out, run-scoring single to Dexter Fowler in the second inning. Feldman was replaced by Travis Wood after Troy Tulowitzki singled and Rosario hit a two-run homer to give the Rockies a 5-0 lead.
‘‘Obviously, I can’t be bouncing curveballs like that during the season,’’ Feldman said. ‘‘That’s what spring training is all about — getting a feel for your pitches. That [and] the changeup I’ve been throwing. I need to get better.’’
The day wasn’t a total bust for Feldman. He had the Cubs’ first hit, a broken-bat single to right off Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis.
‘‘It’s kind of weird,’’ said Feldman, who was 3-for-18 (.167) with a double and one RBI in eight years with the Rangers. ‘‘I’ve been facing nothing but lefties in all our BPs. So I’ve been wearing that cage out — popping up a lot of balls in the cage. I finally got one in play.’’
Sam, Jackson and . . .
Manager Dale Sveum said he still is formulating his rotation for the regular-season opening series.
With Matt Garza and Scott Baker out until at least mid-April, Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson will start against the Pirates on April 1 and April 3. Feldman figures to be the No. 3 starter, but that might change based on matchups, Sveum said.
Feldman started against the Pirates in 2010 and allowed 12 hits and five runs in six innings.
The Cubs play April 5-7 in Atlanta after the season-opening series.
Sveum said shortstop Starlin Castro, recuperating from a hamstring injury, took some ground balls in a light workout and doesn’t figure to play until at least early next week.
‘‘It’s kind of a non-issue now,’’ Sveum said.
‘‘We have the luxury to [be patient]. He’ll get plenty of playing time [this spring]. There’s no reason to rush it.’’