"It's going well," Cooper told Gonzales. "He's feeling better about his command."
Peavy was originally not supposed to start throwing off the mound until spring training began next month, but he's ahead of schedule despite feeling some "normal stiffness and rustiness at times."
Peavy's status will dictate whether 2010 draft pick Chris Sale starts the season in the rotation or in the bullpen. Sale appeared in 21 games after being called up in August and struck out 32 in 23 1/3 innings. He was 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 21 appearances.
"Everybody's got to be ready," Cooper said of his relievers. "Let's face it. From the seventh inning on, everyone's got to be on their toes, not knowing who we're going to choose. I want them to be mentally acute."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans