Just spoke to Josh Beckett, who said he felt great on the mound today.
"I had good stuff today, that's what we're trying to get to," he said. "I think we're in a good spot now."
As for his back, "I don't feel anything any more. The time off did what it was supposed to do."
The plan is for him to make two more rehab starts. The first would be Sunday at Pawtucket. If Beckett starts again July 16, his first game back with the Sox could be as early as July 21 in Oakland.
In other news:
* Jeremy Hermida took BP on the field and cracked a few homers. He's going to hit again tomorrow, have Thursday off with everybody else, then try and hit all three days in Toronto. From there, he hopes to start a rehab assignment after the break.
* Michael Bowden has been shifted to the bullpen in Pawtucket according to PawSox broadcaster Dan Hoard. That's obviously a precursor to his pitching in relief for the Red Sox.
* Catcher Mark Wagner, out since April with a broken hand, has rejoined the PawSox from a rehab assignment. He could figure in the mix if they think it's an upgrade from Gustavo Molina.
* Adrian Beltre told me he's passing on the Home Run Derby.
* Dustin Pedroia is pretty funny. He was talking to Kevin Cash in the clubhouse and wanted to go across the room. He made Cash carry his bottle of water, cell phone and dip cup for him. "Help me out," he said, snickering. "I'm on crutches."
As I write this, Dustin is sitting on a folding chair next to the cage in uniform watching batting practice and talking to his teammates.