Victorino, Carp, Middlebrooks inch closer

BOSTON -- After a back injury last week shut down his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, outfielder Shane Victorino appears to be improving again. Farrell said Victorino could get some live action sometime in the middle of next week's series against the Chicago White Sox, which begins on Monday. Victorino has been out since May 24 with his hamstring injury.

"He's improving. Running, the agility work, the number of swings in BP, that all continues to increase," Farrell said.

Will Middlebrooks and Mike Carp are both in Pawtucket on Saturday, with Middlebrooks at DH and Carp in left field.

"We want to get him regular at-bats," Farrell said of Carp, who's been out since June 2 with a fractured right foot. "As we talked on Thursday, the off day, we felt like everyday at-bats through the weekend was a good point in time to reassess and see where we go from there."

With Middlebrooks -- who's been out since May 17, after fracturing his right finger trying to field a line drive from Detroit's Ian Kinsler -- it's been a careful process, though Farrell says the swelling has finally gone down.

"I think finally the swelling has been resolved to a point where it's not affecting his throwing," Farrell said. "That was more of the caution than anything -- if that was going to alter any arm slot or any changes to his throwing stroke, does it show up in his elbow or his shoulder? We were just trying to be careful of that."