Josh Beckett throws bullpen session, but not close to return

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On the disabled list with lower back soreness for the past five weeks, Josh Beckett threw a bullpen session yesterday at Fenway Park.
According to general manager Theo Epstein he’ll likely need at least one more throwing session before potentially beginning a minor-league rehab assignment.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe speculates that “the earliest he could return is roughly the first week of July, but it’s likely to be later than that as the Sox will want to make sure Beckett is OK and not in danger of altering his mechanics.”
Beckett had a 7.29 ERA in eight starts before landing on the disabled list, including back-to-back ugly outings against the Yankees that saw him allow 14 runs in 10 innings before being shut down.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”