Extra bases

• In 2007, Neil Ramirez boasted the best curveball among all Minor League pitchers. At least, that was the grade he got from Baseball America. Ramirez laughed when reminded of that.

"I used to throw it a lot more than I do now," the pitcher said Friday. "I gravitated more to the changeup now. The curveball is still there."

Ramirez, whom the Cubs acquired from the Rangers as the player to be named in the Matt Garza deal last July, has developed a few other pitches to go with his curve. He learned how to throw the curve while in high school from former Giants pitcher Gary Lavelle, now 65.

"He taught me the grip and taught me to throw it a certain way," Ramirez said. "I don't try to manipulate it too much. It just kind of works."

Kyuji Fujikawa, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last June, threw off the mound for the fourth time this spring and continues to make progress. The Cubs have not set a timetable for his return.

• The University of Tennessee baseball team was a guest of the Cubs at the morning workout and got a tour of the facility. The Volunteers, 12-0 and ranked 19th in the nation, are in town to play Arizona State this weekend.

• Hall of Famer Billy Williams, 75, was at Cubs Park on Friday. When he played with the Cubs in the 1960s, they trained at Rendezvous Park in Mesa and used a high school field.

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.