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Wood settling in, ready to compete for spot

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Travis Wood doesn't feel like the new guy in the Cubs clubhouse this spring, even though he still needs a little help finding his way around Cactus League ballparks.

Wood, who had to ask for assistance finding the visitor's clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium, gave up one hit and walked one over two innings in the Cubs' Cactus League opener against the Angels. The lone lefty competing for a spot in the rotation, Wood walked the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI double before retiring the next six.

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"I hate leadoff walks -- I hate walks in general -- but I hate leadoff walks," Wood said. "It was nice to get back out there today and in a game situation."

With Matt Garza's status questionable because of a sore left lat and Scott Baker not expected until mid-April at the earliest, there is a spot to be won in the Cubs rotation.

"It's going to be fun throughout the rest of camp and we'll see what happens," Wood said.

One year ago, he was spending time trying to match faces with names. This spring?

"One, I actually know some people and have built a relationship with some guys," he said. "They're all great guys. I feel more comfortable this year instead of being the new guy. I'm just another guy."

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