Ryan Westmoreland had surgery in mid-March to remove a cavernous malformation on his brain stem. Now, fewer than six months later, he's back on a baseball field.
The Red Sox prospect won't be playing in any games, but the club wants him to get re-acclimated with the day-to-day life of a ball player while working out with his teammates. He'll join Lowell, the team he last played baseball with in 2009, from Tuesday to Thursday before heading to Greenville, S.C., to workout with the Greenville Drive of the
South Atlantic League.
"I feel really good. I’m not nearly where I was, but to be six months out of a pretty serious surgery, and to be doing what I’m doing, I couldn’t be happier," Westmoreland told the Providence Journal.
Although he's going to have his own personal routine, he will report to the field with his teammates as if he were back in the lineup.
"That’s one of the things that they stressed to me, that they want me to get back into the routine, get back around the games, sleeping like a pro baseball player, eating like a baseball player, working out like a baseball player, being around a baseball field," the Portsmouth, RI native said. "It’s going to be so important to be back out there, to be a baseball player first. Not playing in the games, but just being in the dugout, wearing the uniform, being around the team will be great again."
In his first professional season last summer, the NY-Penn League All-Star hit .296, with seven homers and 35 RBIs in 60 games played.
"We felt like he would benefit from being around a team again," Red Sox assistant general manager Ben Cherington said. "As much as he’s missed playing, he’s missed being around a clubhouse, and among the guys. There’s a huge mental component to any rehab, and if he’s feeling better about himself, then everything else is going to work better too. It’s just one small step towards allowing him to feel like a baseball player again."