Fujikawa has uneven intrasquad outing
MESA, Ariz. -- Kyuji Fujikawa made his Cubs debut Friday in an intrasquad game, walking one of the four batters he faced.
"I'm sure he'll tell you it's been better," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the Japanese pitcher's outing. "It wasn't all that sharp today. His [split-finger pitch] was probably coming out of his hand as a ball right away, which is why he didn't get any swings and misses. He mixed in a couple breaking balls.
"For the first time on the mound and all that, it was OK," Sveum said. "I'm sure he'll tell you he didn't have the command he'd like to have."
Fujikawa, a former closer with Hanshin who signed a two-year contract with the Cubs, said it was a start.
"I think it's more results," he said through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa. "I was able to come back with a zero [runs allowed in the inning]. I'm satisfied with that for now."
Not only does the right-hander have to make the adjustment from Japan to the U.S., but also to Arizona, which isn't exactly pitcher-friendly.
"It wasn't my first time throwing in Arizona, but in a game situation, it was a first," Fujikawa said. "I don't know how much different it'll be in Chicago, but first I need to adjust to this Arizona weather."
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is not a fan of the dry weather in Arizona, and has made himself known.
"I've heard that from other players that there isn't much movement on the ball," Fujikawa said.
How different are things? When Fujikawa came in from the bullpen to throw in the third inning, Shinkawa went to the mound to help interpret for catcher Rafael Lopez.
How are things going for the pitcher?
"I feel welcome every day in this clubhouse," Fujikawa said. "It's my job to put the results on the field. That's probably my way of being a real teammate. That will be my job."
He is expected to set up closer Carlos Marmol, but Sveum said Fujikawa may throw more than one inning, depending on the situation.
"He's a veteran guy who has thrown a lot of innings in key situations in Japan," Sveum said. "You do want to see him in key situations against really good National League, American League hitters to see how it all matches up."