The Lake County Captains got THIS close a number of times. Games were decided by one or two runs. They ended both seasons with a winning record, but were still just short of making it to the playoffs for the second year in a row. Despite missing the postseason, it would be a mistake to call this a disappointing season for the Captains.
“It was a great year for a lot of first year guys in this league” Manager Shaun Larkin said of the team. “We saw a lot of guys get better in their individual areas. I thought we played well as a team. There’s a lot of grinding in a full year, and that’s all you can ask for – guys playing for each other the whole time. We gave ourselves a chance to win more often than not. We gave it a run in the first half, gave it a run in the second half up until about a week and a half ago. We had a winning record in both halves, we weren’t one of those teams who was hot one half and not the next.”
Larkin, in his first season as a manager, can now say that he’s been part of the only two Captains teams in the history of the franchise to end the season with winning records in both halves (2003 and 2015).
If Tuesday night’s Midwest League All-Star Game was any indication, the Lake County Captains are in for an exciting second half of their season.
Led by Captains Manager Shaun Larkin, the Eastern Division team stole the show with a 5-0 victory over the Western Division. Although neither Captain representative started for the name, pitcher Justus Sheffield and infielder Claudio Bautista each had their chance to play in the big game for their regular coaching staff.
The roster is riddled with familiar names, but not many because they’ve seen the grass of Classic Park before.
This season, the Lake County Captains roster boasts more than a few names that those who follow the Indians organization will recognize as up-and-coming prospects within the system. There are a few repeat names from last season but, as a whole, the 2015 Captains are a new, young team.
The 2014 Captains made their way to the Midwest League championship series last year, coming up short in the final series against the Kane County Cougars. However, most of the players who took the Captains that far last season have earned much-coveted promotions to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, giving the Captains a new group of players with which to work.
The roster is taking shape, the Major League positions are being filled, and now the Indians have assigned names to their player development roles throughout the organization. It’s one of the finishing winter steps and brings the organization that much closer to the start of the 2015 season.
This upcoming season, the Indians minor league and player development roles are filled by well-known names from the organization, including former Tribe players and managers from years past.