Scott Feldman mailbag: Ready to hit

Scott Feldman consulted former Cub Ryan Dempster about playing in Chicago before Feldman signed as a free agent. AP Photo/Morry Gash

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman answers your questions in this week's mailbag:

Why did you choose to sign with Chicago and did you talk to (former Cub) Geovany Soto before signing? -- Jack (Chicago)

Feldman: Actually, I talked with Demp (Ryan Dempster) a lot after he was traded to Texas. He loved it (in Chicago) and stuff. To be honest the front office from the get-go kept calling and calling more than any other team. From the beginning it sounded like a good spot for me to go.

Playing in the AL your entire career means you rarely got to hit. How are you at the plate? -- Mike (Memphis)

Feldman: I do like to hit. It's been fun. It's been fun to break up the monotony of spring training. Judging from the bat speed in batting practice it's not quite where it needs to be for April 1. Maybe I need to get in the weight room or on the Soriano program or something.

Scott, welcome to the Cubs! My question is do you find it more difficult going into a season based on relatively modest expectations for the 2013 Cubs, as compared to the last several years with the Rangers where expectations were sky high? -- John (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Feldman: I don't think it ever really changes. Every team wants to win. There is always expectations. If you're not good then they can go in another direction, people's jobs are always on the line. There are expectations here. We have some talent. If we stay healthy and play well, who knows what can happen?

Hey Scott, welcome to the Cubs. Also, how are you feeling healthwise and could you be a factor in the starting rotation? -- Marc W. (Olive Branch, Miss.)

Feldman: I feel great. Pretty much since I came off the disabled list in 2011 at the All-Star break I've felt really good. I have no reason to think that will change.

If you had to pick one guy on the team to be stranded on a cruise ship with for a month in the middle of sea? Who would it be and why? This happens often lately. -- Steve (Carol Stream)

Feldman: Either James Russell or Jeff Samardzija. They would probably have something fun going on. I think it would be a good party with those two. If you're going to go down you may as well have some people there that like to party.