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Fujikawa gets started with Cubs

Kyodo

New Chicago Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa worked out at the club’s spring training facility for the first time on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Fujikawa joined the Cubs as a free agent after saving 220 games in his career with the Central League’s Hanshin Tigers. The right-hander played catch with staff members well ahead of the reporting date for pitchers and catchers of Feb. 11.

“I feel a little more used to things than I did yesterday,” said Fujikawa, who showed flashes of his smile. “I think I’m gradually going to shed any extraneous nervousness.”

Fujikawa previously trained in Arizona with the Japanese national team en route to winning the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

“I’ve played internationally, and I think that experience is going to be big,” said Fujikawa, who had thrown in the bullpen in Okinawa before traveling to the United States.

“Now that I have raised my level once, I’m in position to settle in.”