Francona to meet with Beckett; Hermida close to returning from DL

A quick turnaround and a late-night flight for Josh Beckett prevented Terry Francona from speaking with his pitcher as of this morning. But Francona expects to meet with Beckett, Theo Epstein, and pitching coach John Farrell at some point before today’s game to discuss the next steps in Beckett’s return.

Beckett threw 81 pitches for Pawtucket last night in Syracuse and allowed three runs on five hits in four innings of work. Francona said that physically, Beckett “felt fine,” but he “felt some rust in the game itself,” most likely a product of new surroundings and unfamiliar catching.

Francona said that there isn’t a rush to come to a final decision on Beckett, and a conclusion might not be reached until Beckett throws his side session.

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Outfielder Jeremy Hermida will head to Pawtucket tomorrow and spend two games with the club, one as a designated hitter, and the other in the outfield. Francona thinks that Hermida will be ready at some point during the team’s West-coast trip.

“The hope is, if he’s OK, he’ll meet us out in Seattle,” Francona said. “I don’t see any reason that won’t happen.”