Elbow feeling good, Parker pleased to get going

MESA, Ariz. -- Blake Parker's intrasquad outing didn't go well Friday, but the good news for the Cubs pitcher is his right elbow felt fine.

Parker was limited to seven games with the Cubs and 21 at Triple-A Iowa last season because of a sore elbow. On Friday, he gave up three hits, including a three-run home run to Edwin Maysonet, and struck out two in one inning.

"No matter the results, I felt I threw the ball all right and I felt it was coming out good and I was hitting my spots," Parker said Saturday. "Other than that one pitch [to Maysonet], my breaking ball did better than when I was warming up in the bullpen. It felt good, my arm feels good, and I'm excited to get spring going."

He was just happy to be pitching. Parker was called up to the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa in mid-May and appeared in four games before he was shut down. He did get into three more games in late August and early September, and that was it.

"It's totally different when you've got someone stepping in there and no cage around them and you're working counts and sequences," Parker said. "After the long break, you've got to get back into baseball mode and how you're going to pitch certain guys and setting them up. That's one of my biggest downfalls."

His break was longer than most because of his elbow.

"I'm still getting back into baseball mode, just thinking out there on the mound and knowing what pitches to throw and reading hitters," he said. "As far as physically, my arm felt good."

There's more good news. The intrasquad games are over.

"Good thing that didn't count," Parker said.