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Victorino and Peavy getting closer

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 7, 2014 12:30 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell expects Shane Victorino to play in his first game early next week. He has been held out to work on strengthening core muscles that bothered him at times last season.

“He’s making solid progress,” Farrell said. “More range of motion in all his activities on the field and is responding very favorably at this point.”

Also:

• Jake Peavy will throw an extended bullpen session on Saturday, essentially a simulated game without batters. The righthander is recovering from a deep cut on his left index finger and cannot yet catch a ball.

“The wound is healing satisfactorily,” Farrell said. “Given all things considered he’s making good progress with it.”

Peavy is scheduled to pitch a game next week, either Wednesday or Thursday. If he stays on that schedule, Peavy should be able to make the Opening Day roster.

“If my math is right, that gives him four starts here. We’re not going to skip steps but we feel like there is ample time to ramp him up,” Farrell said.

• A.J. Pierzynski, who hasn’t played since twisting his left ankle on Monday, is scheduled to start on Saturday night against the Orioles. Farrell said the injury was the result of a few pair of cleats and Pierzynski is now wearing something that fits better.

• Righthander Matt Barnes, who was temporarily shut down with a tender shoulder, has initiated a throwing program.

• The Red Sox will not make their first cuts until after Tuesday’s split-squad doubleheader against the Orioles, Farrell said.

• Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, David Ross and Mike Napoli went to the Florida Gulf Coast University basketball game on Thursday night. The “Dunk City” Eagles beat Eastern Tennessee.

• Farrell offered no apologies for fielding a lineup of little-known players against the Marlins on Thursday. A report said Miami officials were “outraged,” but a team spokesman said Friday that no complaint was filed to Major League Baseball.

Major league rules require teams to have a lineup with at least four players who are regulars or have a reasonable chance to being regulars. The Red Sox used one player who fit that definition — Jackie Bradley Jr. — in Thursday’s 0-0 game in Jupiter.

Farrell said he was aware of the Marlins being upset but was comfortable with the lineup he used.

“You can’t speak to what goes on inside another team’s camp. There are reasons why that they bring a team that they do,” Farrell said.

Farrell said the starting infielders stayed behind to work with coach Brian Butterfield on positioning in shifts. The Red Sox also were missing several regulars with injuries.

“We had work and injuries we were contending with,” Farrell said. “I thought we played a pretty darned good game.”

• The Red Sox agreed to terms with 19 players on the 40-man roster with 0-3 year of service times. Such players have no negotiating leverage and generally accept contracts based on a team’s formula.

The Red Sox, like most teams, adjust salaries over the minimum of $500,000 based on service time in the majors and performance. As such, Felix Doubront ($586,000), Daniel Nava ($556,500) and Will Middlebrooks ($540,000) were the highest paid of the group according to WEEI.com.

Brandon Workman ($518,000), Xander Bogaerts ($517,000), Ryan Lavarnway ($510,000) and Rubby De La Rosa ($504,000) were on the next tier followed by Alex Wilson ($503,500), Drake Britton ($503,000), Brock Holt ($503,000), Jackie Bradley Jr. ($502,000), Allen Webster ($502,000) and Steven Wright ($502,000).

Bryce Brentz, Dan Butler, Garin Cecchini, Alex Hassan, Anthony Ranaudo and Christian Vazquez received $500,000.

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