The Phillies are chipping away at their issues, taking out larger chunks like Ben Revere and Michael Young in recent days.
But what often slip by are the more minsicule shavings, like middle relief or potential set-up men getting minor league deals; the kinds of chips that get stuck in your eye and make you go “GAAAAH I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS GUY IS STILL ON THE TEAM AND ALSO STUCK IN MY EYE.”
Sometimes, folks, metaphors can just run away from you. So let me just say that the Phillies have signed RHP Zach Miner, he of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff from 2006-09, to a minor league deal.
Miner’s story is the same as most 30-year-old right-handed one year-dealers: He did okay (4.24 ERA, average WAR of 0.7). He filled a lot of roles. Never really broke through. Had Tommy John surgery. Survived. Looking for work.
And the Phillies will be that employer, offering him a deal that gives him a shot to make the bullpen. Does Miner have what it takes to lead a tribe of young bucks, all itching for that chance to keep the mound warm for Jonathan Papelbon?
Well, let’s make sure he can handle himself first, before taking on any sort of “grizzled vet” role. As one might have assumed by now, the real victims in the Phillies’ recent trades have been the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who are forced to fill roster spots by shouting from the grandstands to people on the street.
Miner will undoubtedly start out with them, proving himself worthy of being a part of the Phillies’ mighty Major League pen as the season goes on/implodes.