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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Stewart (quad) a week away from hitting

By Bruce Levine

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs don't expect third baseman Ian Stewart to start hitting for another week as he recovers from a strained quad.

Stewart has done little since suffering the injury on Feb. 21 and it could make it difficult for him to earn a spot on the roster.

"If he gets on the field too late in spring training it will be difficult to get enough at-bats to evaluate (him) when everyone else is getting their at-bats," manager Dale Sveum said.

Stewart, who has a $2 million contract, is out of minor-league options. The Cubs could cut Stewart by mid-March and only have to pay 1/6 of his salary, but that would leave them especially thin at third base. Luis Valbuena seems the logical choice to start with utlityman Brent Lillibridge around to pick him up. Junior Lake will be at Triple-A.

Feldman's debut: Scott Feldman, the Cubs' No. 4 starter made his Cactus League debut with the Cubs on Thursday, giving up one run in two innings, allowing two hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Feldman, who made 21 starts for the Texas Rangers last season, is expected to give the Cubs valuable innings in the rotation this season.

Solid Wood: Vying for the fifth starter role, Travis Wood gave up one run (a long home run by Derek Norris ) and two hits in two innings on Thursday. The Cubs, who are desperate for a solid left-handed pitcher, will give Wood every opportunity to make the rotation.

Kiddie corner: Outfielder Jorge Soler made the defensive play of the game, throwing out a runner trying to go first to third on a base hit.

"That throw that (Soler) made from right field is about as good of a throw that you can make," Feldman said. "(The runner) had a shocked look on his face like you are not supposed to throw me out on that. It was a good play."

Third baseman Lake drove in a run with an RBI single and also doubled in the sixth.