A round of applause for Arizona Phil and his Cubs ST coverage!

I thought I knew a little about baseball til I started reading your posts here at TCR, Arizona Phil.
The depth of your knowledge and your frank, watchful eye have kept us all deeply in the loop of our favorite team.

And now...2012!
Whatever the hell it turns out to be. 


Here here. Thanks, Az Phil

Thanks, Phil.
Always appreciate the in depth information.
Head over to the Woodshed in Mesa and have some wings on me.

I love your spring coverage. I love your coverage when the rest of the media returns to Chicago even more. Then we get XST coverage we'd get nowehere else.

I can't agree with this enough. Every day I check the site, hoping to see an AZ Phil recap about a game at Fitch Park that I couldn't follow elsewhere. Other teams might get a tweet or two about EXST or Fall Instructs, but the Cub fans get full box scores. Thank you, and I will most definately have to buy you a beer (or other beverage if you do not consume alcohol) when I finally am able to convince my wife to let me attend ST.

You could buy him a beer at Dwight Patterson Field -- no alcohol is allowed at Fitch Park (and it's strictly a BYOB situation there).

Yep keep up the good work AZ Phil.

Absolutely. Thank you, AZ Phil!

Thanks to all those who keep TCR alive and engaging! Thanks for the work and energy you put into this blog!

I have learned more from Phil than any baseball expert.

Agree--not only about how the Cubs' minor leaguers are doing, but also about good roster management and even batting and pitching tidbits. Thank you!

I seldom post, but often read. I too wanted to thank you for your coverage and insight!

Ditto from me, AZ PHIL. I never would have had the full appreciaton of how badly the Hendry regime mis-managed the 40-man without your thoughtful and detailed explanations. Thanks so much!

And, of course, your attendance reports frlom EXST and AFL. ;)

May the Cubs finally win a World Series in our lifetimes and when we can still enjoy it.

Ditto Ditto Ditto

Careful with the praise, someone is gonna make a "massaging his balls" comment soon.

There really are no other sources for the kind of stuff Phil writes.

It was also somewhat refreshing to see you express some opinions (not always favorable) on TheoCorp's early moves, particularly regarding the rule 5 stuff. And your excitement about Rizzo carries a lot of weight for me, too. Let's hope you find some more guys to give us some hope and that some of the lesser knowns that seem to have promise keep growing.

For me, what Phil brings most is his first hand evaluations and opinions on Cubs minor league 'prospects' in actual game situations (i.e. ST Exhibitions, EXT Spring games, AZ Rookie league, Fall Instructional, etc.). It's also obvious he has access to certain Cubs player development people as well as other organizations scouts/player development people. From this base, he puts his evaluations in print.

For me, Law, Sickels, Callis, Goldstein,et al do way more talking/texting MLB scouts/minor league people than actually viewing prospects 2, 3, 4 times a year. Since they're all national writers, I understand they have to do that to 'cover' 30 major league teams. Again for me, I take all of that type of evaluation with a major grain of salt.

At the end of the day (and to use an analogy from the intelligence community), I prefer boots on the ground intel to aerial/satellite recon.

Last point, at the end of the day all 'scouting' reports on Top 10/15/25/30 prospects is future predictions written in Jello. If/until they reach the majors (or even AA), adjust when the league adjusts to them, then adjust again, no one knows how any of them are going to turn out.

So, based on that, please keep the reports coming AZ Phil and I would love to take our families out to Vito's in Mesa for pizza (if it's still there) the next time we're in the Valley.

Ditto. Phil provides updates throughout the season from the Cubs activities in Mesa, we'd get that info nowhere else without him. Thanks AZP......



Geez GEORGE! So enthralled you had to post it three times?

Still figuring out how to use this computer.

try hitting the save button once.

Here here

The Wizard of Az...


Thanks for another great spring, Phil.

Right on AZ Phil!

Thanks AZ Phil! Thanks Rob G.!

And thank you to everyone for making this such an enjoyable place.

thank you phil!!

Thank you Phil!!!!!!!!

Thanks, everybody.

Recent comments

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  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.