MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman wasn't happy with his last spring start against the Rockies, so he talked to Dioner Navarro about it. Whatever the catcher said worked.
In his third spring start Sunday, Feldman gave up two runs on four hits over three innings for the Cubs against the Padres. He got into trouble in the third, serving up a leadoff single to Jason Marquis. Jeff Decker reached on an error by shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, and Marquis was picked off at second. Feldman then hit Travis Buck with a pitch, and both he and Decker scored on Mark Kotsay's double into the right field corner.
The numbers were better than Feldman's previous outing against the Rockies when he gave up four runs on six hits over two innings against the Rockies.
"I felt great out there," Feldman said. "It was the best command I've had. It's a good rebound from last time. I was a little annoyed last time with my secondary pitches. Today, me and 'Navy' talked before about establishing the fastball and working off that. I got a lot of ground balls, which is not always an easy task in Arizona with the thin air."
Feldman said he shook off Navarro once on Sunday.
"It's pretty basic stuff we're trying to do here in spring, get a feel for all your pitches," Feldman said. "I'm not going to concern myself much with exactly pitching to a scouting report. It's nice to get on that same page with the catcher for sure."
Feldman, projected for the No. 3 spot in the Cubs rotation, likes what he's seen of his new team so far. The Cubs are still in rebuilding mode, but he says anything can happen. He saw that with the Rangers.
"I remember everybody saying, 'Yeah, we're rebuilding and we're a couple years away, a couple years away,' and all of a sudden in 2010 we went to the World Series," Feldman said of the Rangers. "You never know what can happen. You see a lot of young guys come through here and working their way up the ladder right now, but there's a good group of young guys here. In 162 games, crazy things can happen. Just because they put that label on of rebuilding, if we get hot, and play well together, anything can happen."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less