December 5, 2011 at 2:11 PM
|Ryan Westmoreland (Dave Letizi)|
WEEI's Alex Speier reports that outfielder Ryan Westmoreland will face live pitching this week in the Dominican Instructional League, marking his first game action since undergoing surgery for a cavernous malformation on March 16, 2010. He will serve as the designated hitter and receive one at-bat Thursday and two on Friday.
Westmoreland, 21, was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Portsmouth High School (RI), forgoing a commitment to play collegiality at Vanderbilt University. He burst on to the scene in his first professional season in 2009 as a member of the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners, hitting .296/.401/484 with 7 home runs, 35 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 60 games before he experienced a season ending collarbone injury.
Westmoreland received full medical clearance to participate in game action yesterday and the Red Sox organization also expressed its confidence that he was ready for this important step in his rehabilitation. The road to recovery has been slow but steady for the Rhode Island native, and this latest step is the most recent sign that Westmoreland has worked extremely hard to get to where he is now. The game action is not necessarily a precursor to Westmoreland resuming a normal playing schedule for Spring Training, and no further timetables have been set at this time.