FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox had an off day Wednesday. They don’t have another one until March 30 — the day before Opening Day.
The Red Sox will get back at it Thursday with a Chairman’s Cup battle against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Jake Peavy will make his spring training debut for Boston.
Let’s go over some spring notes before completely shifting gears and focusing on Thursday’s contest.
-The Red Sox cut 12 players from big league camp Thursday. Outfielder Bryce Brentz, third baseman Garin Cecchini and pitcher Anthony Ranaudo were among those cut.
-Matt Barnes (also cut) continues to deal with a shoulder issue, but manager John Farrell said Thursday that the right-hander is progressing as expected.
Barnes has thrown from 120 feet and is expected to get back on the mound toward the end of the month, although there’s no timetable for when he’ll begin pitching in minor league games.
Farrell said there was never any need for Barnes to have an MRI, suggesting the ailment isn’t anything serious.
-Grady Sizemore will get three at-bats in a Triple-A game Thursday. Jackie Bradley Jr. is starting in center field to get more accustomed to playing with the major league club.
-Felix Doubront tossed 78 pitches over 4 2/3 innings in a minor league game Wednesday. The left-hander gave up two runs on three hits.
Doubront is expected to pitch next against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday (St. Patrick’s Day). He and John Lackey both are expected to pitch in that contest.
-While Brandon Workman’s versatility was vital last season, Farrell said Thursday that the club would prefer not to shift the 25-year-old back and forth between the rotation and bullpen with regularity in 2014.
“If you make the shift, then you stick to whatever shift you move to. But to go back and forth, that takes a lot out of a pitcher, regardless of age,” Farrell said. “And, in some ways, you can put a guy a little bit more at risk because of the change in role and the difference in the teams. Physically, you’re asking a lot of a guy to do that.”
-Dustin Pedroia is off to a slow start this spring, hitting .105 (2-for-19) in seven games. Farrell said the struggles simply are a matter of Pedroia getting his timing down, and that he’s actually seen better bat speed from the four-time All-Star in the wake of his offseason thumb surgery.
-Farrell lauded Henry Owens’ progress in camp, insisting the young lefty wasn’t rattled by anything and consistently kept his emotions in check.
-It sounds like Anthony Ranaudo, despite being cut Thursday, is getting closer to being big league ready.
-Shane Victorino and David Ross will play in minor league games Friday.
-Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, Bradley and Clay Buchholz are among those who will make Friday’s trip to Dunedin, Fla., to face the Toronto Blue Jays.