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Busy day of baseball in Boston

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 9, 2010 07:49 PM

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A few observations, quotes and notes picked up from today's events:

* Ryan Westmoreland will not participate in the rookie development program that starts Monday. He will instead head to Fort Myers this coming week to ramp up his rehab from a broken collarbone suffered in late August.

Westmoreland had surgery on a torn labrum in his right arm in 2008 and now is getting over the broken bone in his left shoulder. But the good news is that he feels fine and is ready for his first full season of pro ball.

Westmoreland hit .296 with 25 extra-base hits, 35 RBI and 19 stolen bases over 60 games for Lowell last season. He had a .401 on-base percentage and impressed scouts with his range in the outfield.

"It was a good learning experience. I had never really played every day," Westmoreland said. "It's a lot different than a 20-game schedule in high school. The first couple of weeks were tough physically and mentally. But I think I settled in."

Check out the paper tomorrow for a full story on Ryan.

* Casey Kelley is listed as 6-foot-3. He's probably 6-foot-4. "He has grown since we drafted him," Theo Epstein said. "He's a big kid."

Kelly and I talked a little about the BCS title game (he was a Tennessee quarterback recruit) and about his decision to pitch full time. "It's good to have just one thing to focus on," he said. "Right now, it's just a matter of getting innings."

Kelly looks the part of a star, which sounds silly but sometimes you can just tell.

* Jeremy Hermida was at the Jimmy Fund event. He is spending a week in Boston, taking the time to look for a place to live and get a sense of the city. He seemed like a good guy. He was sitting at the same table as Josh Reddick, which struck me as funny as the addition of Hermida probably pushed Reddick back to Pawtucket for 2010.

* Peter Gammons moderated the Hot Stove Cool Music roundtable discussion at Fenway Park. But beforehand, he was recognized for his charity work by having four college scholarships given to Boston Public School kids by Riso, Inc., of Danvers named in his honor.

City Council president Mike Ross was on hand to read a resolution naming this "Peter Gammons Day" in the city. It was nice to a see a guy who cares so much about the game and other people honored.

* Theo Epstein talked about how the Sox have charged Alex Ochoa with mentoring young Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias this season. While there certainly will be an adjustment needed to life in the United States, Iglesias has impressed the Sox with how fast he has picked things up, even facts about U.S. history.

* Sometimes you fans can get more info out of the team than we can. During the Q&A session, a question was asked about Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman and the interest the Sox had in him. Epstein revealed that the Chapman threw for the Sox in October with Terry Francona and John Farrell watching and that they think he has a high ceiling.

He did not say whether they were bidding for him. The Blue Jays, rumor has it, may be the favorite. They are reportedly willing to pay $23 million and the Sox may not be so inclined. There are questions about Chapman's control and secondary pitches and he may well project to be a reliever.

* Mets GM Omar Minaya took time out of his schedule to participate in the event. He said their medical reports on Jason Bay were clean and they expect him to handle Citi Field fine.

That's about it. It was a fun day and thanks to all those who said hello. It was good to talk baseball on such a cold day.


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