Indians notes from Sept. 17.
Jeremy Sowers has one shot at making the 2007 season more than simply a learning experience. “If this team hasn’t already found themselves in the postseason by then, it’s a way for me to help them get into it,” Sowers said while discussing his impending start during a Sept. 26 doubleheader in Seattle. The 24-year-old left-hander was recalled from Double-A Akron on Tuesday after making two starts for the Aeros during the Eastern League playoffs. Sowers began the season in Cleveland’s starting rotation, was sent to Triple-A Buffalo on June 10 and made 15 starts with the Bisons before joining Akron for the postseason. Certainly, much more was expected from a young pitcher whose second-half ERA in 2006 (2.72) ranked second in the American League behind Johan Santana. He was 1-6, 6.93 with the Indians this summer before being optioned. “It’s just failure -- that’s all it is,” Sowers said. “There are so many other good things going on in my life, I shouldn’t complain. As long as I wake up every morning and don’t feel horrible pain in my arm, I’m all right.” Indians Manager Eric Wedge said a trip back to the minors is often part of the development of a talented young pitcher. “He went down there and improved tremendously,” Wedge said. “The league adjusts to you, then you adjust back. That’s why they say it takes three or four years to figure out what you need to do to be the best you can be.” Sowers agreed, noting, “I know nothing is abnormal. Most everybody goes through it, except for the prodigies.” Confidence was the primary thing Sowers said he gained during his return to the minors, going 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA over his last nine Triple-A starts. He did make one significant mechanical adjustment as well. “I needed to quicken my arm up a little bit,” Sowers said. “I had been a little slow in my delivery. I did a couple drills that helped out, not from a numbers standpoint where velocity is concerned, but from the batters perceiving if my fastball seems to have a little extra life to it or not. I want hitters to feel less comfortable with my fastball.” Sowers certainly didn’t like getting sent back to the minors, but he understood it. He also understands next year could bring an entirely different story line. “It was a bummer but, realistically speaking, it made sense,” Sowers said. “It helped to go down there, get away from the scale of everything here and relax more. I think I have a better understanding of myself and more patience with myself. By the end of the season there, I felt like myself again.” Sowers will work a simulated game Friday, Wedge said, in preparation for his start in Seattle. Coming Up The series continues tonight at 7:05. Justin Verlander (17-5, 3.47) will start against Jake Westbrook (5-9, 4.38). Let’s Get It On Wedge didn’t try to downplay the importance of the three-game series against Detroit. “I’m excited for our guys and our fans,” Wedge said. “Our guys have been playing good baseball for an extended period of time now. They don’t need to do anything more.” Nos. 1 and 1A Fausto Carmona and Tampa Bay’s Scott Kazmir shared American League player of the week honors. Carmona was 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts last week, striking out 12 in 15 innings and moving into the league lead in ERA (3.07). New Digs The city of Goodyear, Ariz., conducted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the site of the Indians’ new spring training facility that will open in 2009. City and team officials threw dirt into the shovel of a skip loader being manned by Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller. Reach Canton Repository sports writer Andy Call at (330) 580-8346 or email@example.com.