Ryan Westmoreland will be honored this coming summer by the Lowell Spinners, as the only team he’d play professionally for will retire his number. Westmoreland played for the Spinners in 2009, but was forced to retire last March following multiple surgeries and extensive rehab as a result of a cavernous malformation on his brain. The team is planning to have a “Ryan Westmoreland Day” sometime during the 2014 season but a date has yet to be announced.
Craig Forde of Boston.com notes that Westmoreland is the first player in Spinners history to have his number retired.
Drafted in the 5th Round in 2008, the team signed the Portsmouth, Rhode Island native to a $2 Million bonus and Westmoreland wasted little time making an impact in Boston’s system. Spending the 2009 season in Lowell, Westmoreland went on to bat .296/.401/.484 over 267 PA – adding 25 XBH, 19 SB, and 38 BB. He was showing all five tools on the field as a 19 year old, drawing plenty of attention.
Following the season he’s jump all the way to #21 on Baseball America’s Top 100 lists heading into the 2010 season.
Westmoreland began to experience weakness that offseason, which led to a series of tests which found the malformation the following Spring. He’d undergo his first surgery that March but even then there were questions about whether he’d be able to play again but things initially appeared hopeful until he experienced a setback in his recovery, resulting in a second procedure and his eventual retirement.