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

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?