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Hammel already comfortable in new setting

MESA, Ariz. -- Jason Hammel is feeling right at home in Cubs camp, even though he's only been with the team for one week.

The right-hander, who signed a free-agent contract with the Cubs on Feb. 13, threw about 65 pitches in his first live batting-practice session on Thursday.

"His live BP was pretty impressive the time I was over there," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, who watched a little of Hammel's workout. "He was obviously hitting the mitt and his command of the zone was down. He was very composed on the hill. He's been around a while. He's looking pretty good."

Hammel, who was the Orioles' Opening Day starter last season, said he was able to throw all of his pitches. Pitching coach Chris Bosio helped, too.

"[Bosio] gave me great tips today, giving me some things to work on," Hammel said. "George Kottaras was my catcher today, and we were right on the same page. Overall, the first few days, the week, it's been great and good so far."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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