Red Sox righty Josh Beckett threw 70 pitches in the bullpen on Saturday and declared himself ready to move on to the next step of his rehabilitation program.
Beckett threw 45 pitches—his usual pregame warm-up—and then sat awhile before getting up to throw eight "warm-up" pitches and then 17 "game" pitches. Afterwards, he said: “I felt great. No pain at all. I was able to throw all my pitches. My arm strength was actually pretty good.”
Beckett will face hitters Thursday and then begin a minor league rehab assignment on July 6th, although the Red Sox haven't said where. Double-A Portland will play at home that day, so they are a good bet. He will need at least three—and likely four—rehab outings before he is ready to re-join the Red Sox rotation.
He explained: “It’s a matter of getting back the endurance. It’s been so long since I pitched in a game, you need to get your arm and your body back to where it was…It could be three games, maybe four. We’ll talk about it as we go through the process…but the best thing is that my back feels fine now.”