Westmoreland to take at-bats in game situation

Westmoreland to take at-bats in game situation

Westmoreland to take at-bats in game situation
DALLAS -- The amazing comeback story of Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland will take another step in a matter of days when the outfielder takes at-bats in a game situation for the first time since undergoing brain surgery in March 2010.

Westmoreland is expected to face pitching in Dominican instructional league games later this week.

WEEI.com was first to report that Westmoreland was cleared for game action.

"It's a good landmark for Ryan, though he still has a lot of room for growth," said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. "Ryan has continued to work very hard this fall as he's done throughout the process. He's positioned himself to get into a game in Dominican instructional league and deserves the opportunity."

Before being diagnosed with a cavernous malformation in his brain nearly two years ago, Westmoreland was considered perhaps the best position prospect in Boston's farm system.

His recovery from surgery had its share of scary moments -- including a temporary loss of vision -- and there were no guarantees Westmoreland would regain his full quality of life, let alone be able to take another at-bat.

But he has made steady progress over the last few months, which will now take him to a most exciting step.

The plan is for Westmoreland to take one at-bat Thursday and two on Friday. He won't play the field or run the bases.

"He will get a DH at-bat Thursday and we will go from there," Crocket said.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.