Forbes Franchise Value and Revenue Estimations:
It's that time of the year again. Forbes Magazine has come out with their annual estimates of individual Major League Baseball team revenues and franchise values. The only thing more consistent than this piece over the last several years has been the immediate reaction from baseball teams trying to convince the public that no matter what the survey says that they are, in fact, poor. You can set your watch by it.
In any case, Forbes pegs the Rays' value at $290 million, 29th among all MLB teams, with only the Marlins being worth less. The valuation is, however, the highest appraisal the Rays have ever gotten from the survey, way up from an all-time low of $142 million in 2002. Forbes estimates the Rays' annual revenue at $138 million, that is good for 28th in the major leagues, ahead of the Florida Marlins and Kansas City Royals. The team's revenue estimate trails the 27th place Pittsburgh Pirates by only $1 million.
|RAYS||RH J. Hammel||85.0||6.14||74||6.78||4.24||1.60||1.27||.866||1.65||0.94||18.72|
|MIN||RH B. Bonser||173.0||5.10||85||7.08||3.38||2.09||1.40||.819||1.53||1.19||16.32|
RH Jason Hammel-As the Rays take to the field this evening, Jason Hammel will be looking to prolong a fairly good start to the season and keep his name in the hat for a rotation spot. With the recoveries of Rays RHP Matt Garza and LHP Scott Kazmir apparently progressing nicely, that means Hammel and the other candidates for one of the last two spots in a healthy rotation have less time to prove themselves worthy. So far though, Hammel has done nothing to corrupt his chances. His strikeout rate through two starts has been lower than what he posted last year, but his walk rate has dropped even more precipitously. That has been key to his success, as he has posted a K:BB of exactly 4:1 thus far into the season. Hammel has also kept the ball down in the zone so far, with his G:F ratio rising dramatically up to 1.33 from a year ago. A lower home run rate has followed this, as one might assume, and overall Hammel just isn't being hit as hard as he was in 2007. He isn't benefitting from any obvious streak of luck on balls in play, so there is hope that these gains might hold.
Overall, I like what I've seen from Hammel thus far. He still needs to prove that he can be economical with his pitch count and go deep into games without struggling, but he took a step in the right direction with a career-long seven inning stint last time out on Saturday against Baltimore. That the seven innings was a career-long does raise some concerns in my mind about whether he can give the Rays enough innings to be a sustainable presence in the rotation, but hopefully Hammel can build upon that last outing.
RH Boof Bonser-The subject of "internet rumors" last off-season about a possible Rays-Twins trade involving Delmon Young (which, as we know, most definitely didn't happen), Gibbs High graduate and St. Petersburg native Boof Bonser takes the hill for Minnesota this evening. He has gotten off to a decent start in the 2008 campaign, posting a 2.84 ERA through three starts, but his solid strikeout numbers and a relatively decent walk rate portended at least some improvement from the 5.10 ERA that he rung up a year ago. So far this season, Bonser has shown immensely good control, walking just two batters in 19 innings. His strikeout rates have fallen a bit, but, like Hammel, he is keeping hitters off the basepaths and avoiding the costly long balls that hurt him so much in 2007. Obviously a 2.84 ERA isn't going to be a sustainable course for someone of Bonser's stature, but a high-3 or low-4 ERA is entirely possible this year. For a Minnesota rotation desperately looking for help following the trade of Johan Santana, an overachieving year from him would be a godsend.
In other news Juan Salas is back in the U.S. and the Rays have 30 days to clear a 40 man spot for him and Matt Garza may start next Friday's game.