The Phillies traded Jimmy Rollins and an argument brewed..

The Phillies shipped off a crucial piece to their run of dominance from the mid to late 2000’s today in Jimmy Rollins. While the rebuild has started two years too late, it is good to finally see Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledging that this group cannot get it done anymore. To be honest, I haven’t even really looked into what the Phillies got in return for Rollins just yet, so I can’t comment on the actual trade, but I commend the Phillies front office for A) finding an actual suitor for Jimmy Rollins and B) finding a suitor that Rollins would be willing to waive his no trade clause to go to.

The reason for this post isn’t to talk about the Rollins trade, rather to talk about an argument I saw on Facebook earlier this evening. I love Jimmy Rollins. He is one of my favorite Phillies and has been since his rookie season in 2001. People were hating on Rollins, and I’m not sure why, given what he has done both on and off of the baseball field for the city of Philadelphia, but that is neither here nor there. My issue was with the statement that Jimmy Rollins was ahead of Chase Utley in terms of the Phillies all time greats. No, just no.

I did some quick research and crunched a couple of numbers to prove that Rollins was not the better player on the field for the Phillies and I’ve decided to put it in a blog post to publish to make any other ill-informed Phillies fans rethink it if you share the same thoughts.

Let’s take a quick look at some numbers.

Player A: 9,511 plate appearances, .267/.327/.424 – .751, 216 HR, 887 RBI, 1325 runs, 453 stolen bases, 7.9 BB%, .156 ISO – .326 wOBA, 49.3 fWAR

Player B: 6,335 plate appearances, .285/.370/.488 – .858, 228 HR, 886 RBI, 926 runs, 139 stolen bases, 9.5 BB%, .203 ISO – .370 wOBA, 59.2 fWAR

Player A: reached base once every 3.11 plate appearances, had an extra base hit once every 11.80 plate appearances, hit a home run once every 44.03 plate appearances, scored one run for every 2.31 times on base.

Player B: reached base once every 2.92 plate appearances, had an extra base hit once every 10.39 plate appearances, hit a home run once every 27.79 plate appearances, scored one run for every 2.35 times on base.

As if it needs to be said, Jimmy Rollins is Player A while Chase Utley is Player B.

Sure, Jimmy has swiped more bags, scored more runs, tallied more hits, but Utley has easily been the more valuable player of the two to the franchise. The ultimate stats, wOBA and fWAR, strongly prove this. Utley has been worth almost 10 fWAR more than Rollins in significantly less time on the field. In fact, Utley has been the better pure base runner, too. Utley has tallied 1 UBR per every 67.45 times on base while it has taken Rollins every 76.67 times on base to tally 1 UBR.

Defensively, Utley is severely underrated. He has 137 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) over the course of his career. Rollins, in comparison, has 48 in just under 6,000 more innings. Rollins undoubtedly plays the more heralded position defensively, so that gives him a bump, but not enough to cover that wide of a margin. In comparison for SS, Andrelton Simmons has already tallied 88 DRS in just three seasons. Rollins is (kind of) overrated defensively. He’s merely good, not great. He was great early in his career, but tailed off fast.

Chase Utley will, more than likely, go down as a top 10 second basemen in baseball history. He currently sits 16th all time in fWAR among the position and should find his way into the top 10 before his career is done barring any significant injury. He would already be there if it weren’t for his past injury history. Jimmy Rollins, for comparisons sake, sits at 20th all time among SS’s in fWAR. He should settle around the 17-18 mark when it’s all said and done, but it’s hard to imagine him being any high than that.

People forget just how great Chase Utley was (and still is, for that matter). There was a stretch where Utley was one of the best players in baseball. In fact, during the height of his career (2005-2009) only Albert Pujols tallied a higher fWAR than Utley – IN ALL OF BASEBALL. Still, from 2005-2014, still only Pujols has a higher fWAR IN ALL OF BASEBALL. Chase Utley has been worth more than Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Adrian Beltre, and Robinson Cano since 2005 in less games.

Please, don’t forget just how great Chase Utley is. He should go down as the second greatest position player the Phillies organization has ever seen. Jimmy Rollins is top 5, and I’m not taking anything away from him, but he HAS NOT been better than Chase Utley during his tenure in Philadelphia. I have no bias in this. I am a Braves fan, after all. I have given cold hard stats, not opinions. Numbers do not lie.


The Braves traded Jason Heyward today and it sucks.

I waited and waited to determine what my second blog post should be about. Then the Braves went and dropped the hammer (and ball) and gave me something to rant about.

The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a trade early Monday afternoon sending Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to St. Louis. In return, the Braves will acquire Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.

I was okay with trading Heyward this offseason given the direction that the organization seemed to be going, but my God this return was horrendous. There are reports coming out that Boston never engaged in trade talks regarding Heyward, which makes me wonder what they would’ve departed with had the two organization’s just picked up the phone. So, my initial hot take: this sucks. I had been sleeping on the couch the whole morning and went through half a box of tissues due to a cold I have come down with. Now I’m stuck using the tissues to wipe away tears rather than blow my nose.

Anybody who is trying to make sense of this for the Braves is arguing that they are getting two cost controlled pitchers and restocking the arms in the system, aka “The Braves Way.” We cannot grade Shelby Miller based off of his disappointing 2014 season without taking his 2013 season into some consideration. He was worth 2.2 fWAR and posted a much higher K/9 and lower BB/9 numbers in 2013, but is coming off of a season in which he posted a 0.2 fWAR, 6.25 K/9, and 3.59 BB/9. Meanwhile, his BABIP was .024 lower than his numbers in 2013. Perhaps this is due to using his changeup significantly less. John Hart and company better be banking on Roger McDowell being able to help Miller regain finding how to miss bats. He will be controlled by the Braves for the next four years, which does give them an arm to slot into their absolutely depleted rotation.

However, they traded Jason Heyward. Jason Heyward, who posted a 5.1 fWAR in 2014, tied with players like Yasiel Puig and AL Batting Champion Jose Altuve. He was worth 0.9 more than “the face of the franchise” Freddie Freeman and 1.2 more than Silver Slugger winner Justin Upton. Jason Heyward was the Braves best player, a huge fan favorite, and true “face of the Braves franchise”.

We all know how great Heyward’s defense is. Back to back Gold Glove Awards in 2013 and 2014, with him (probably) being the best defensive player in the game in the latter year. His offense, while never being able to top that special 2010 season, was still valuable. Plus, he is a hell of a baserunner, one of the best I’ve seen in Atlanta in years. Heyward is the complete package and just a very young 25 years old.

I said earlier I was okay with trading Heyward entering this offseason and that was only under a couple of conditions. First, they tried to extend him at all costs. It sounds like Heyward wanted Freddie Freeman money, which he absolutely deserved. The problem in baseball is that his skill set isn’t as valued as somebody like Justin Upton or Freddie Freeman, which is a problem. It doesn’t sound like, based on what Jason has said, that negotiations were even discussed this offseason. He should have been one of the core members signed to a long term contract to help build around.

Second, I would have been okay with John Hart and company trading Heyward had they gotten the best absolute package for him. There are too many organizations who need corner outfield (or even centerfield) help to settle for a package that banks on your pitching coach being able to fix the centerpiece of it. I wonder what the Cubs were said to be offering, as they have been linked to being interested in Heyward. I wonder what Boston would have been willing to part with. Now we will just be left with the what ifs and prayers that Shelby Miller turns into a solid top of the rotation member, because he will surely never be as valuable as Heyward will.

I’ve completely ignored the other two players traded in this deal thus far, but the Braves also acquired Tyrell Jenkins in the deal while Jordan Walden was sent to St. Louis.

Everybody hates Monday because its the start of the work week. I hated this Monday even more because of this stupid cold I’m dealing with. Now, this Monday took a turn for the absolute worst for Braves fans. Cardinals fans will fall in love with Jason Heyward the first time they see him score from first on a double or track down a sinking line drive in rightfield. He is a complete baseball player whom I wish the absolute best with for the rest of his career. Surely, he is bound to win a World Series in St. Louis.

Love you, forever, Jason. Thanks for the memories.


So, let’s talk..

I’ve done it. Finally, after months of pondering back and forth in my head on whether I should create a blog, I’ve done so. I’ve wanted to for quite some time, but was always up in the air due to the lack of time I may have to write. I’ve accepted that I will just write as things come to me, rather than strive to make this a content driven place.

I will start this off with a quick introduction of myself. My name is Zac Berwick. I am 24 years old and have a wonderful girlfriend in my life whom I am proud of each and every single day. We just recently bought our first house and live in Southern New Jersey with our two boxer puppies, Ava (14 months) and Tyson (6 months). I’m sure there will be pictures of all three of them posted eventually on this thing. I have a strong passion for sports, largely baseball and the Atlanta Braves. I’m making it a goal of mine to get a lot of my thoughts regarding the Braves organization out and published with this tool, so we will see how that works out. Other than the Braves, I am also a big Philadelphia Flyers and Eagles fan. While I don’t have the extensive background in advanced stats and other things in those sports as I do in baseball, I still follow each daily and throughout the winter. I used to cover MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball at during this past summer, which leads me to my next great passion and hobby: fantasy sports. It doesn’t matter what type of league or sport it is, I am a sure fire bet to make the playoffs in your league. If it is baseball I might as well have a bye into the semifinals of that league’s playoff match-ups. It’s a passion. A hobby. A moneymaker. A love. You’re sure to see plenty of posts regarding fantasy everything, so be prepared. Lastly, I enjoy a wide genre of music (mainly hip-hop, classic rock, and pop) and a good movie or TV show.

I have always had a strong like for writing. I say strong like and not a strong passion for a reason, though. I cannot say a passion due to the fact that I would often find the motivation or content to write about hard to come of. But, once I get writing I absolutely love it. We will see how longs this lasts, but I hope to create a blog where every man can come to read and relate with it, whether it is sports, TV, music, movies, etc. I want it to be the man cave of internet blogs, with not just one specific topic focus.

Which leads me to the blog name, The Brotherly Sanctuary. I was absolutely, 100% caught in a daze and blank stare at my laptop screen when it asked me to give this thing a name. I’m not sure what it truly is, to be honest. I got the brotherly part thanks to Philadelphia (let’s keep it cordial while we are here) and sanctuary as a synonym for man cave, I suppose. The header is not my man cave, as that is still a work in progress. It’s getting there, but we still need furniture and such in the room. The wall decors, however, are on point. Once it is completed I will update the header to a picture of my actual cave. For now, this will have to do as I wasn’t even aware I was going to need a header.

Endings have always been something I’ve struggled with. I feel like the quick summary of what you’ve talked about approach is just repetitive. Nobody wants to read things twice. The witty lines to end a post aren’t my style. I’m not witty enough with writing. The 76ers vs Heat game just restarted on my TV and it reminded me of something. The 76ers are absolute garbage, but I love the approach Sam Hinkie and company are taking towards rebuilding this franchise. Before I go off on a rant, I will save all of that for another post. Besides, the basketball season is just underway and plenty long enough for me to make numerous posts about how the 76ers only have five actual NBA players on their roster. Where am I going with all of that? Here, let us reminisce together and praise the greatest 76ers player of my lifetime.

Listen, we talkin’ about.. practice. Not a game, not a game.. practice.

Oh, and fuck the NBA Draft Lottery.