NEW YORK -- Carlos Delgado, fresh off signing a Minor League contract with the Red Sox on Saturday, arrived at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and worked out. He expressed optimism about his recovering right hip and looks forward to showing the front office enough to earn a callup to Boston.

The left-handed-hitting slugger might serve as the designated hitter for Pawtucket on Monday and play first by Tuesday.

"I'm not going to come here to embarrass myself," Delgado told The Providence Journal. "I wasn't going to call anybody and say, 'I'm ready to work out,' if I couldn't run, if I couldn't run the bases, if I couldn't change direction."

PawSox manager Torey Louvullo was impressed by Delgado's demeanor.

"He was eager to get here and, in his words, 'get things cranked up'," Louvullo told the Journal. "He's been in a clinic rehabbing, getting ground balls from his therapist and an assortment of different drills. But he said there's nothing quite like getting on a baseball field, a professional baseball field, and getting after it."

Pedroia takes another step forward

NEW YORK -- After another successful running test at moderate intensity on Sunday, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia hopes to take crucial steps during his team's three-game series in Toronto.

Pedroia hopes to ramp up his running to full intensity north of the border, beginning on Tuesday. If his left foot can withstand three straight days of hard running, Pedroia thinks he could turn his program toward gearing up for game action.

His current goal is to be in Boston's lineup on Aug. 17 -- his 27th birthday -- for the opener of a three-game series at Fenway against the Angels.

"Like I said, I want to be back when we get home, and that's my goal, so hopefully it's possible," Pedroia said.

Pedroia fractured the navicular bone in his left foot on June 25 and has had some ups and downs during his rehab. Now, he hopes to be on the upswing for good.

"Three days ago, I thought I was out for the year," said Pedroia. "Now I feel like I can play soon. Every day's getting better. They want me to not run tomorrow, and then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are pretty big days, and then hopefully we'll go up and hopefully try to get in the lineup from there."

Though Pedroia's absence has been an extended one, it isn't set in stone that he will go on a Minor League rehab, though an abbreviated one seems realistic.

"Oh, I'm sure it's a possibility," said manager Terry Francona. "I don't think we want to waste [time]. If he's ready to help us win, there's a lot of ways he can help us win. There's going to have to be some conversations with [general manager] Theo [Epstein] and Pedey and myself, and [we'll talk about] what's in his best interest. I'm not sure we know what that is yet. We'll see."

Pedroia said a few weeks back that it wasn't anyone's goal for him to help the PawSox win. But he has backed off that tone a bit now, seeming a little more willing to go on a rehab if that's what the team wants.

"I'll talk to all these guys. If I'm able to play, I'm going to get out there as fast as I can," Pedroia said. "I don't know. Whatever they make me do. I don't have enough service time to just tell them what I'm going to do."

Varitek takes BP, optimistic about progress

NEW YORK -- It was an all-around day of good news for the Red Sox on the injury front. Not only did the team have an encouraging report on Dustin Pedroia, but catcher Jason Varitek is also starting to turn a corner with regard to his fractured right foot.

On Sunday, Varitek took batting practice on the field for the first time since being placed on the disabled list on July 2.

He has also significantly picked up the pace of his jogging over the last few days. While Pedroia could be back in roughly 10 days, Varitek is probably a couple of weeks beyond that.

"I'm still learning how to walk and jog right now," Varitek said. "Yesterday, I ran for the first time -- well, we jogged two days before that -- we jogged about 10 percent, about 30 feet, three times. Yesterday, I got up to about 75 percent. I went jogging a little bit today, but being a back-to-back day, we took it a little easy. But I'm recovering day to day, and getting better each day. Whatever we're doing, I'm handling and not going backwards the next day."

Wednesday will mark the six-week anniversary of when Varitek had his foot broken on a foul tip by Carl Crawford. Once that timeline is cleared, Varitek expects to be able to ramp up his program.

"Probably this next week is going to tell a lot," Varitek said. "I hit the six-week mark, and the governor comes off on some things. I've been off crutches and learned how to walk in a one week period -- and the improvement from last Monday to now is night and day. But the governor comes off more at the six-week mark."

As the Red Sox's captain, Varitek is proud of the way his teammates have pulled together and kept Boston in contention despite injuries to several key players.

"It's been that way all year. We're just at a point now where we need it to come together even more," Varitek said. "We have opportunity, but we still present yourself with what you ultimately want a chance to do, which is get a chance to get to the postseason. Those things don't come around very often. For a lot of people, a lot of teams, it doesn't happen. And for some, it could never happen. We need to continue to play good baseball."

Youkilis eager to check back in

NEW YORK -- Two days removed from season-ending surgery on his right thumb, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis is already getting antsy to rejoin his teammates.

In fact, Youkilis wanted to come to New York on Sunday or Monday. But according to manager Terry Francona, the latest plan is that he will meet up with the team next weekend in Texas.

"He's really fighting to get back here," said Francona. "We also told him if the travel's not real conducive or it doesn't mess him up, we're going to make him wait until we get home. He'll probably fight us on that unless he's not feeling good, because you can't do anything right now -- I mean, physically. He can certainly be here, which he wants to be, which is good. But as far as working on that hand, he can't do anything."