THE NEWBERG REPORT — JUNE 30, 2007

You know what I’m terrible at? Really, really awful at?

I have an unspeakably difficult time watching Jamey Wright pitch.

Nothing wrong with that 5.0-6-2-2-3-3 line, but I’m talking about actually watching him do his thing. Next time he’s on the mound I think I’ll just listen until he’s chased, then flip the set on after that.

Wright, for me, is the anti-David Cone. I’d go watch Cone pitch if I heard he was throwing batting practice to his kid’s Little League team. Maybe even his grandkid’s.

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports that “[t]he Yankees are no longer interested in trading for [Mark] Teixeira,” because they’re not willing to make a competitive offer.

I don’t know what Kepner’s reputation is, though he obviously writes for a reputable publication, maybe the most reputable one in the business. But ask yourself this: Who told Kepner that about the Yankees’ game plan? If your answer is New York general manager Brian Cashman, why do you think Cashman would share that comment with someone he knew would then put it in print?

If it was someone else affiliated with the Yankees, how smart would it be for that person to reveal something like that without Cashman’s approval?

Or maybe it was with Cashman’s approval.

Or even at his direction.

It’s to the point at which the list of teams interested in Eric Gagné and/or Akinori Otsuka is longer than the list of teams that are not.

Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald reports that Boston is not one of the 12 designated teams that Gagné would contractually permit a trade to. But as we’ve discussed, that really not that great an impediment.

Frisco righthander Edinson Volquez was activated from the disabled list after missing two starts due to a blister, but his work last night was brief. After rain delayed the start of the game 14 minutes, Volquez walked the first two Arkansas batters and had two strikes on the third before rain once again halted play (for 90 minutes) and ended Volquez’s night. The RoughRiders and Travelers were scoreless in the 10th when the skies reopened, and the game was suspended. It will be resumed when Frisco travels to Arkansas in a week.

Bakersfield third baseman Chris Davis in April, in his first month in High A, having skipped Low A altogether: .244/.277/.558.

Davis in May: .276/.339/.495.

Davis thus far in June: .337/.361/.652.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Longview product went 8 for 10 with a double, four home runs, and 11 RBI. He’s up to .286/.327/.565 for the year, riding a 19-game hit streak.

California League pitchers aren’t thrilled to see outfielder Ben Harrison back in a Blaze uniform. Harrison struggled at Frisco on his return from off-season shoulder surgery (.160/.300/.280 in eight games) but has been on a tear since a reassignment to Bakersfield followed another couple weeks on the disabled list. He has hits in all eight of his Blaze games, going deep three times with eight RBI and a line of .385/.500/.846.

Harrison proved in 2006 that the Cal League was no match for him (.293/.397/.520, 18 homers and 74 RBI in 87 games) and the Texas League didn’t get much of a reprieve (.282/.341/.491). He should be back in Frisco sometime this summer.

Bakersfield lefthander Glenn Swanson needs Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. Swanson, signed as a 49th-round draft-and-follow fifth-year senior in 2006, went 1-1, 3.43 in 21 relief appearances between Spokane and Clinton last summer, but had really broken through this spring. In seven LumberKing starts, he went 6-1, 2.93, fanning 42 and walking just six in 43 innings. Following a mid-May promotion to the Blaze, he went 1-4, 4.87 in seven starts, walking an entirely uncharacteristic six in his final appearance on Sunday.

Frisco second baseman German Duran won the Home Run Derby at the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, defeating A’s catcher prospect Landon Powell as he connected 15 times in four rounds. Interestingly, four of Duran’s 15 regular-season homers have come in Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field, which is where the All-Star festivities were staged.

Spokane righthander Fabio Castillo (1-2, 6.92) took a loss last night but had his best 2007 outing in the process, holding Tri-City to two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks in five innings. He fanned six, plunked two, and induced five groundouts and three flyouts.

First-rounder Michael Main made his pro debut on Wednesday, but it wasn’t on the mound. Main served as the Arizona League squad’s DH and singled in four trips, driving in three runs. He then went 0 for 3 as the club’s DH yesterday, adding a sacrifice bunt. As discussed before, Texas has agreed to allow Main, a standout center field in high school when he wasn’t pitching, to hit occasionally this season.

USA Today named righthander Blake Beavan a second-team member on its High School All-American team.

The Mets demoted catcher Mike Nickeas, whom they acquired from Texas last summer for outfielder Victor Diaz, from AA Binghamton (.213/.272/.287) to High A St. Lucie this week.

San Diego came to terms with supplemental first-round pick Corey Luebke, the Ohio State lefthander who was the Rangers’ 22nd-round pick in 2006.

Dual Dominguez ducats: (1) Juan Dominguez has surfaced in the Mexican League. Pitching for Saraperos de Saltillo, the 27-year-old started on Wednesday and allowed an infield single and four walks in three scoreless innings, fanning two. (2) Louisville slugger Chris Dominguez was named the the DH on Baseball America’s Freshman All-American Team, after clubbing 15 homers and driving in 61 runs in just 267 at-bats. Dominguez was the Rangers’ 17th-round pick in 2006.

The Coastal Bend Aviators of the independent American Association signed righthander Juan Jimenez.

I think I forgot to mention that Rob Cook and Eleanor Czajka’s Pitcher and Player of the Month features for May were posted weeks ago on Eleanor’s Minor Details page.

Two added raffle prizes for this Friday’s Newberg Report Night (actually, 11 additions): (1) 10 subscriptions to Baseball Prospectus (worth $40 each) and (2) “Have Will for your Fantasy Draft” — Will Carroll will be on call for your next baseball or football fantasy draft.

The thing I’m most excited about for that night? Maybe that Kam Loe is slated to start.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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