It’s safe to say that when the season started, 31-year-old right-hander Zach Miner was not in the Phillies’ immediate plans. The former Detroit Tiger had been bouncing around the minor leagues since 2009 after pitching to mediocre stats in parts of four years in the big leagues.
In Lehigh Valley, he pitched out of the bullpen, making spot starts occasionally and posting less than impressive numbers.
Through June 11 his ERA was 5.01, and he had given up four or more runs in a third of his 15 outings. As the Phillies bullpen was ravaged by poor performance and injuries, Miner remained in Lehigh Valley.
Then, on Aug. 2, he was recalled by the Phillies. Amazingly, he was the ninth different reliever promoted from Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia during the season. He pitched like he had been there all year.
In his first nine appearances (14 1/3 innings) he was unscored upon in seven of them. During that stretch he struck out 11 batters and allowed just two inherited runners to score. Miner continued to pitch well into the latter part of the season, making several starts and keeping a very impressive 3.08 ERA through Sept. 24.
It was just that last start on Sept. 29 against Atlanta that skewed Miner’s numbers for the season. He pitched just 2 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits. Prior to that game he not allowed five runs in his previous eight outings combined.
The outing bumped Miner up to a 4.40 ERA, just above his career average. He finished with an 0-2 record to go along.
Grade: C+ Miner, almost four seasons removed from major league action, and having struggled in Lehigh Valley, came in and did a real decent job (albeit in a low stress role). His blow up in his last outing makes his stats look a lot worse than they were. If he never made that start he would have finished with with his lowest ERA and best K/9 ratio of his career. He wasn’t perfect, but certainly deserving of an average grade.