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Westmoreland Spins Around the Rumor Mill

07.30.09 at 2:29 am ET

After the Lowell Spinners finished batting practice prior to Tuesday’s New York-Penn League game against Tri-City, Ryan Westmoreland’s cell phone stated had dozens of missed calls and text messages. The Red Sox prospect’s name emerged as part of a reported (and, as it turned out later, untrue) package that the Sox were using in an attempt to land Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

Welcome to the rumor mill.

“For sure, my cell phone was blowing up yesterday,” Westmoreland said. “I didn’t get to hear any of it or see any of it but I know it’s a part of the game.”

Interest in Westmoreland by other organizations comes as no surprise. The designated hitter (who has yet to play the outfield due to offseason surgery on his labrum) is enjoying a stellar first professional season at the plate. Westmoreland is tied for second in the NYPL with six home runs, and is leading the Spinners with a .899 OPS and 25 RBI.

“He’s a perfect player with regards to what the organization is looking for,” Spinners skipper Gary DiSarcina said. “He battles every at-bat, which we like to see.”

DiSarcina also pointed out that Westmoreland has a great deal of plate discipline and is selective when swinging. Westmoreland also has opposite-field power to dead left and left-center, and has recently shown flashes of being able to launch the ball out to right field.

Westmoreland has been an offensive force for the Spinners as of late. He credits his current hot streak to his vision at the dish.

“The last two weeks I feel like I’ve been hitting my stride and seeing pitches better,” said Westmoreland of his recent successes at the plate.

Even with his successful start to the 2009 campaign for the 20-19 Spinners, Westmoreland was somewhat surprised to hear his name thrown into the mix of such a high-profile deal.

“It’s cool to be mentioned in something like that at this stature, especially to be mentioned along with Roy Halladay,” Westmoreland said of the 2003 A.L. Cy Young winner. “He’s arguably the best pitcher around.”

Yet in an equally momentous event for the Rhode Island native, reports quickly surfaced on Tuesday that Westmoreland was considered untouchable in potential deals. The original report of an offer of Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden and Westmoreland for Halladay was quickly shot down. Though the Sox, according to several reports, were open to dealing either Buchholz or Bowden, Westmoreland was deemed off-limits. 

“It’s comforting to know now that I’m probably not going anywhere, but nothing is set in stone,” Westmoreland said. “It’ll be in the back of my mind a little bit, but I’ll be thinking more about Friday’s game.”

“If something happens, it happens,” the 19-year-old added. “But I know I’m going to be playing baseball either way.”

If Westmoreland gets dealt, he will have no ill will towards any organization. The Rhode Island product would just play his game if such a scenario arose.

“I’d be playing some place else for a different organization, but it’s still the same game,” Westmoreland said. “It wouldn’t be anything for or against any team, I’d just be going somewhere else playing the same game.”

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