5/28/2013 7:50 P.M. ET
Burnett 'excited' for chance to pitch with Cubs
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Alex Burnett certainly had an easy first day on the job with the Cubs on Monday.
The right-handed reliever, claimed off waivers from the Orioles, arrived at U.S. Cellular Field about half an hour before the first pitch of the Cubs' Interleague game against the White Sox. He could relax as Jeff Samardzija threw a two-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory.
Burnett, 25, is happy to get a chance to pitch. He appeared in two games with the Orioles this season after spending three years with the Twins.
"I was excited," he said about his reaction at the news he had been claimed by the Cubs. "It's a new opportunity, and I'm in a great organization and a fresh start, and they told me I was coming straight to the big leagues, and nothing better than that."
Burnett, who knows a couple of the Cubs from the Arizona Fall League, was asked for a scouting report on himself.
"I just go right after guys and let the defense do the work, and that's what I live and die by," he said.
Vizcaino has setback in recovery from surgery
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Arodys Vizcaino, on the 60-day disabled list rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, underwent an arthroscopic debridement (removal of damaged tissue) on his right elbow.
Vizcaino, ranked by MLB.com as the Cubs' No. 5 prospect, was feeling some discomfort after his throwing sessions and was not recovering well, so he was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who found a calcium buildup and performed the procedure. The problem is not related to the Tommy John surgery Vizcaino had, and the Cubs say Andrews found the ligaments were in good shape.
The right-hander, who the Cubs acquired at the Trade Deadline last July from the Braves in the Paul Maholm deal, will not pick up a baseball for six weeks.
Vizcaino, 22, has pitched in the big leagues, appearing in 17 games in relief for the Braves in 2011.
Feldman enjoying opportunity to dig in, swing bat
CHICAGO -- No, the Cubs did not tweak their rotation for the Interleague series against the White Sox so their best hitting pitchers could start in the games at Wrigley Field.
The four-game, intracity Interleague series continues Wednesday at Wrigley, where they'll play by National League rules. Scott Feldman and Travis Wood, who have both hit home runs this season, will start Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
"I think they might have wanted [Jeff] Samardzija in there," Feldman said when asked if the rotation was altered. "Maybe [Matt] Garza, too. He's got a double."
Feldman had pitched with the Rangers prior to signing with the Cubs and had 18 total at-bats over eight seasons. He's now 4-for-22 with the Cubs, and has two doubles and a home run. That's a .409 slugging percentage.
"Hitting's not easy," Feldman said. "It's just something new that I'm not used to, but I've enjoyed trying to work on it and hitting in [batting practice]."
Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and bullpen coach Lester Strode had the pitchers working early nearly every day in Spring Training. It's paid off. The Cubs hurlers have 15 RBIs this month, which leads all Major League teams.
"For me, it just makes you feel like you're playing baseball," Feldman said about being able to hit. "You're not just a pitcher. It reminds me of being a kid again. You get to go up there and hit and do the fun stuff that you could do when you were a kid."
College tourney to give Cubs look at potential draftees
CHICAGO -- The Cubs' front office will get at least one more look at three of the four players they're focusing on for the upcoming First-Year Player Draft.
Oklahoma, San Diego and North Carolina all made the field of 64 teams competing for the NCAA Division I baseball championship. The Cubs have narrowed their list to four players, including Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray, San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant and North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran. Stanford pitcher Mark Appel is still in the Cubs' final four, but the Cardinal didn't make the tournament.
The Draft will be held June 6, and the Cubs have the second pick overall.
North Carolina (52-8) is one of the top eight seeds, and will play Canisius on Friday. Oklahoma (40-19), which is a No. 2 seed, faces Coastal Carolina on Friday, and San Diego (35-23) faces Cal Poly.
Bryant, a right-handed hitter, led San Diego with a .340 batting average, 31 home runs and 62 RBIs in 58 games. In 2010, the Las Vegas native was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 18th round.
Moran started all 60 of North Carolina's games, and batted .357 with a team-high 13 home runs and 84 RBIs. A left-handed hitter, he is the second player in UNC history to draw 50 walks, score 60 runs and total 70 RBIs in a single season. A junior, Moran led the Cape Cod League with 42 RBIs in 2012. A New York native, his uncle is former big leaguer B.J. Surhoff, who also starred at North Carolina.
Gray was 9-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 15 starts, throwing two shutouts in his three complete games. He struck out 127 and walked 21 over 110 innings, holding teams to a .181 average.
• Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa underwent an MRI on his right arm Tuesday, but the team did not expect results until Wednesday because its orthopedic specialist, Dr. Stephen Gryzlo, was busy with surgeries.
Fujikawa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday for the second time this season with a strained right forearm. The right-hander, who was on the DL from April 13 to May 10 with the same problem, had to leave Sunday's game in the ninth inning after feeling some discomfort.
The right-hander has a 5.25 ERA in 12 games this season, giving up seven runs over 12 innings.
• On Tuesday, the Cubs erected mock-ups of the proposed advertising signage in right field and used tarps to represent the 6,000-square-foot video screen they want to install in left field. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts watched from a rooftop on Sheffield Avenue.
The Cubs are waiting for final approval from the city planning commission on their $300 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field, which they hope to start this offseason. The proposal includes installing the scoreboard in left and more advertising in right.
• Several of the Cubs plan on attending Wednesday's Game 7 NHL playoff game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings in Chicago.
"There aren't too many times a Game 7 comes around, especially being in town at the same time playing a day game," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "You have to do everything you can to go to that game."
Will he tell Feldman, who is starting Wednesday, to hurry up?
"We'll make it," Sveum said. "They'll hold the game up for us."
• Cubs wives and girlfriends will do their part to help raise funds for victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes at Wednesday's game at Wrigley Field. Outfielder David DeJesus and his wife, Kim, are involved in a "mystery ball" event. Tickets are $40 per ball, and all proceeds will go to the families affected by the deadly storm.
The Cubs play host to the White Sox in an Interleague game that day.
Cubs players also will serve as celebrity bartenders on Friday at "American Junkie" in Chicago as part of the "Pour for Moore" fundraiser to support disaster relief. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. Tickets are $15 per person for the event, which will run from 6-8 p.m. CT.
• Albert Almora was named Midwest League Player of the Week for May 20-26. The Cubs' first-round pick in last year's Draft, and No. 2 prospect, batted .538 in his first week with the team. He had to leave Monday's game with a strained left hamstring, injured while trying to track down a ball in the outfield. His status is day to day.
After Monday's game, Almora tweeted: "No worries! I'll be back in a day or 2!! Good win boys!!! #slaphands"
No worries! Ill be back in a day or 2!! Good win boys!!! #slaphands- Albert Almora (@albertalmora) May 27, 2013
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.