Maddon has confidence in Motte after rough outings

Maddon has confidence in Motte after rough outings

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jason Motte has had back-to-back rough outings, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't worried about the right-hander, who may simply need a little mechanical adjustment. Motte served up three runs on one hit, a home run, on Saturday, and has given up seven earned runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning in his last two appearances.

"I'm not worried about him," Maddon said of Motte. "I think the velocity is real good, the shape of his pitches are a little different and I think it'll get better."

Motte missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He appeared in 29 games last season with the Cardinals.

Jon Lester, who will start Opening Night next Sunday, will make his final spring tuneup on Tuesday in a Minor League game. The Cubs have yet to announce what order the rest of the pitching rotation will be.

On Monday, Travis Wood, who also is competing for the fifth starter spot, will start in a "B" game at the Cubs' complex in Mesa.

• The Cubs have adjusted their travel schedule so they can arrive in Chicago in time for the regular-season opener. The Major League team will fly to Chicago on Saturday morning in order to get settled in time for Sunday's night game against the Cardinals. The Cubs do have their final Cactus League game on Saturday at Chase Field against the D-backs, but will play Minor Leaguers in that game.

The Cubs and D-backs games at Chase Field were on the schedule before ESPN switched the opener from April 4 to Opening Night, April 5.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.