Westmoreland making steady progress from brain surgery

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When Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland was diagnosed in March with a cavernous malformation in his brain, some medical specialists thought it might put an end to his baseball career.  Not so.

Westmoreland had surgery to repair the problem and is now taking batting practice two or three times a week, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.  He was invited to stand on the sidelines at Sunday’s Colts vs. Patriots game and appeared to be in good spirits.  If the progress continues, it’s possible that he will be an active regular at spring training next year.

“We’re just seeing how it plays out right now,” he said Sunday. “If something happens where I can play next year, that would be great. But we’re not looking forward like that. We’re just taking it day by day, seeing how things progress. If it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen. But I’m ready to wait. If patience is what it takes, I’m ready for it.”

Westmoreland is planning to spend his winter at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida, where he can work out and get regular checkups from the club’s medical staff.  The 20-year-old outfielder batted .296/.401/.484 with seven home runs and 19 stolen bases in 60 games for Single-A Lowell in 2009.  He obviously took the 2010 season off.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Javier Baez made a couple of fantastic plays last night

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Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.

With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.

First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:

Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:

That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.