It was easy to miss the Phillies’ minor-league signing of Zach Miner on Dec. 1 2012. It came a day after the team non-tendered outfielder Nate Schierholtz in a somewhat confusing move and five days before Vance Worley and Trevor May were shipped off to Minnesota for Ben Revere.

At the time Miner was a depth signing a move designed to give the Phils another organizational arm in case everything went wrong again in 2013 – if the starting staff couldn’t stay healthy or if the young bullpen arms couldn’t locate.

That of course is exactly what has happened for this 50-60 team. And while the Phillies continue to frustrate on the field their results have at least opened the door for young players like Cody Asche and Ethan Martin to debut and for a veteran like Miner to complete his long journey back to the majors.

Four years removed from the big leagues Miner had his contract selected by the Phillies on Friday and on Saturday he pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of John Lannan who exited early after coming undone in the fifth.

“It felt great” Miner said of his outing after the Phils’ 5-4 extra-inning loss (see story). “I wish we would have won but it felt good to get out there get the nerves and butterflies out.”

The Braves’ fourth-round pick in 2000 out of Palm Beach Gardens High School in Florida Miner was traded to the Tigers in 2005 for Kyle Farnsworth and made 157 appearances for Detroit from 2006-09. He started 35 games finished 24 others and held his own with a 4.24 ERA in the American League.