Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Westmoreland's Surgery Successful / Doubront Continues To Impress

Good news from Arizona.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Ryan Westmoreland, the Red Sox’ 19-year-old outfield prospect, underwent successful surgery yesterday in Phoenix to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain. According to a release by the team, Westmoreland remains in the intensive care unit after the five-hour procedure, but “has come through the surgery well.’’

“Due to the complexity of this surgery, Ryan will face a difficult period initially before beginning his recovery,’’ the release read.

It is to be expected that there will be extensive recovery time following brain surgery, but everything sounds positive so far. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery


We hear a lot about some of Boston's pitching prospects. Casey Kelly, Junichi Tazawa and Michael Bowden get a lot of press. But there is another young pitcher who is turning some heads in Florida right now.

Felix Doubront was drafted by the Sox in 2004 out of Venezuela. He's a lefty that doesn't really scale the ball in there (he only hits the low 90s on his fastball) but has excellent control and a delivery that disguises his pitches quite well. He throws a great change that breaks to the left and most importantly, he has a great demeanor on the mound.

I had a chance to see him last year when he played in Portland. He went 8-6 with a 3.35 ERA and close to a 2-1 K/BB ratio. He's only 22 years old and looks to me like he could be a back-end starter/long-term reliever for the Sox in a year or so. That's dependent on how he does in the Bucket this year.

Doubront threw three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit against the Rays in Boston's 7-0 loss to Tampa last night. That makes four innings over two games with no runs allowed and two hits. And Doubront wasn't pitching to scrubs; he faced off against guys like Jason Bartlett, Longoria and Carlos Pena. He basically carved up Tampa's starting lineup.

Yes, it is just spring training. Yes, it doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Still, Felix is proving he deserves a little more attention as we enter the 2010 season. And it sure wouldn't hurt to have another strong, young lefty in Fenway sometime soon.

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