Beckett, who hasn’t pitched since May 19 with back pain, threw during Monday’s off day from 120 feet as he was monitored by pitching coach John Farrell. It was the third day in a row that Beckett, who has a staggeringly high 7.29 ERA this season, continued his throwing program.
The rehab process will move from long-toss workouts to a bullpen session.
“That would be the next step,” Terry Francona told MLB.com. “I think we'd really want to be aggressive with his long toss. When you start getting out to 150 [feet], he's got to let [it] loose pretty good.”
Beckett’s last start came against the Yankees in the Bronx, when he was pulled after just 4 2/3 innings. He was put on the disabled list the next day.
Francona knows it’s important for the Red Sox to have their ace back healthy and in midseason form.
“He's working hard now so he can come back and pitch effectively and feel healthy and all the things we always say, because we believe in them,” Francona added. “We don’t want to shortcut anything either.”
Daisuke Matsuzaka also did some long-toss drills this week, as the right-hander threw from about 150 feet on Wednesday.
Matsuzaka, who was placed on the 15-day DL just a few minutes before his scheduled start on Saturday, has a right forearm strain, but it doesn’t appear to be too serious.
"Depending on how it goes [Wednesday], he may even throw a side [session Thursday]," Francona told MLB.com. "He is doing pretty well."
Marco Scutaro missed Tuesday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks, but returned to the leadoff spot Wednesday. Scutaro received a nerve-root injection in his neck on Monday to alleviate pain he’s been experiencing due to a pinched nerve.
“My neck has been pretty [sore] in the morning, so I'm kind of used to that,” Scutaro told MLB.com. “But I wasn't used to doing things [without] strength in my arm. I guess the inflammation's going to go down, and everything's going to start working normal.”
Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida, who are both out with rib problems, continue their rehab processes. There is no timetable for either players’ return.
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