Indians notebook: New coach Bogar already knows some of these guys
Some of the guys who made Tim Bogar’s summer enjoyable are the same guys helping make the Indians’ summer memorable.
The Double-A Akron manager joined the Indians coaching staff Friday night and will work with the big-league club through the postseason. The Indians have traditionally brought up some minor-league coaches and managers in September.
“For the most part, I was able to work with the same group of guys this season,” Bogar said. “They were a good group of guys to work with, too.”
Infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, left-hander Aaron Laffey and right-hander Jensen Lewis all earned promotions to Cleveland after beginning the season in Akron. All three played key roles in the Aeros’ 80-61 season and have played key roles in helping the Indians reach the verge of qualifying for postseason play.
Bogar was also put in charge of some of the organization’s top young prospects.
Outfielder Trevor Crowe, the 14th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft, was batting .195 on June 26. He hit .313 through the rest of the season with a .386 on-base percentage.
“Trevor probably grew the most of everyone who was there,” Bogar said. “I don’t think he’d ever struggled in his life. He learned now to handle failure and turned his season around. He realized he wasn’t going to walk through the league. He played hard every day and made adjustments at-bat to at-bat.”
Left-hander Chuck Lofgren led the Indians organization and was third in the league with 130 strikeouts. He was 12-7 with a 4.37 ERA, but allowed 153 hits and 68 walks over 146 innings.
“I’m sure he’d tell you he was disappointed,” Bogar said. “He found out there were things you couldn’t get away with that you were able to get away with in ‘A’ ball. His fastball is certainly good enough. His breaking ball is certainly good enough. He just needs to get more consistent with both of them and maintain that consistency.”
First baseman Jordan Brown was named the Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year, batting .333 with a club-record .421 on-base percentage. Other top prospects who played in Akron included outfielder Brian Barton, catcher Wyatt Toregas and pitchers Scott Lewis and Shawn Nottingham.
The Aeros played their way into the Eastern League finals before losing to Trenton.
“We had to overcome some immaturity,” Bogar said. “We had a lot of young players. But, by the end of the year, our guys understood how to be more professional and how to go about their business. Once we established that, we were able to go out there and have a good time.”
CHANGE THAT The A’s said they will start LHP Dallas Braden (1-7, 6.41 ERA) in this afternoon’s series finale. RHP Rich Harden had been scheduled to start, but said he was uncomfortable with doing so after pitching a simulated game earlier this week. He has been limited to seven appearances this season due to a sore shoulder. Jake Westbrook (5-9, 4.41) is Cleveland’s scheduled starter.
NOT IN MY CLUBHOUSE Indians Manager Eric Wedge didn’t sound exactly thrilled with the news that a notable potential DH candidate will be cut loose from the San Francisco Giants at the end of this season. “Who’s that?” Wedge asked mockingly. “We’ve got our guy.”
THE YOUNG GUN Fausto Carmona, 23, is trying to become the youngest pitcher to lead the American League in ERA since New York’s Dave Righetti in 1981. Carmona will start one game of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Seattle.
HOME SWEET HOME The Indians’ 50 home wins through Friday was the most of any team since the 1996 Indians won 51 at Jacobs Field.
Reach Canton Repository sports writer Andy Call at (330) 580-8346 or e-mail email@example.com.