3/3/2014 7:04 P.M. ET
Continuing progress, Fujikawa throws off mound
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- Kyuji Fujikawa threw about 29 pitches on Monday, his third session off a mound, and is continuing to make progress as the Cubs pitcher comes back from Tommy John surgery.
"Just one step at a time," Fujikawa said through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa.
The right-hander, whose session was watched by 15 Japanese media members, is focusing on fastball command for now. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said Fujikawa has reported he feels better throwing certain pitches now than he did before he had the surgery last June.
"Potentially, this could be a nice blessing for him," Bosio said. "There are a lot of good signs for him."
There is no timetable for Fujikawa's return, but the Cubs are hopeful he can return this summer.
New replay system not used in Cubs-Crew contest
PHOENIX -- Monday's game between the Cubs and Brewers was the first for new manager Rick Renteria to use Major League Baseball's expanded instant-replay review system, which allows managers the right to challenge at least one call.
Renteria didn't challenge anything in the game, which ended with the Cubs' first Cactus League victory, a 4-2 decision. He also doesn't have a flag in his pocket to throw on the field if he wants to do so.
"I think the protocol will be if you want to challenge, you have to go out and talk to the umpire and either invoke it or he may ask me to invoke it depending on how long you stand out there conversing with him," Renteria said Monday.
Monday's game was the first of nine Spring Training games in which the Cubs will have instant replay available. The next games are Friday against the Angels, March 12 against the Mariners, and March 16 against the Indians.
Renteria said the umpires will try to resolve the disagreement first.
"I would imagine that if my gut is telling me immediately that I saw it completely different [he'll challenge] -- but you don't want to waste it if you don't have to," Renteria said. "There's going to be some availability as it's set up to get the information that tells you if [the call] is good or not."
• The Cubs have agreed to 2014 contract terms with all 19 players on their 40-man roster with zero-to-three years of Major League service.
The list includes catchers Welington Castillo; pitchers Jake Arrieta, Dallas Beeler, Alberto Cabrera, Justin Grimm, Blake Parker, Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon, Arodys Vizcaino, Zac Rosscup and Chris Rusin; infielders Arismendy Alcantara, Mike Olt, Christian Villanueva and Logan Watkins; and outfielders Brett Jackson, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur and Josh Vitters.
• Szczur had two hits and two RBIs, and Albert Almora and Kris Bryant each had two hits and one RBI for the Cubs, who played the Giants in a "B" game early Monday at Cubs Park that ended in a 5-5 tie. The game gave both teams a chance to get innings for some of the pitchers after rain on Saturday canceled scheduled Cactus League games.
• Vizcaino, who has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011, pitched one inning in relief on Monday against the Brewers, and although he hit the first batter, the right-hander then retired the next three. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said it's been hard to hold Vizcaino back.
"There's so much potential in that arm and he's so excited," Bosio said of Vizcaino, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. "This guy wants to win a spot [in the bullpen]. We'll see what happens with him. We'll be very careful. We're not going to overdo it. He's been a pleasant, pleasant surprise this spring."
• James McDonald will start one of the Cubs' upcoming split-squad games. The right-hander went two innings in his last outing, following lefty Chris Rusin against the Angels. McDonald battled shoulder problems last season, but has assured Bosio that there are no health issues this spring.
"I know he's a competitor and I know he wants to get out there," Bosio said.
• Arrieta threw off flat ground on Monday, and is continuing to make progress. He's been slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder, which he felt before camp began.
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.