By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies have kept the toll collectors on Northeast Extension busy this season, dipping into the roster of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs a record 21 times. While there was a lot of attention when players like Darin Ruf and Cody Asche got the call, many of these promotions have passed with very little fanfare. Zach Miner’s would probably fall into that latter category.

A 31-year-old right-hander, Miner is in the bigs for the first time since the 2009 season when he went 7-5 for Detroit with a 4.29 ERA in 51 games.

“2010 I had (Tommy John) surgery, probably took me a couple years to get back where my arm was feeling good,” Miner said after throwing two shutout innings against the Cubs on Thursday. “And I had some other groin issues last year, so this is the first year in a few years that my whole body’s been healthy. So it’s been nice, it’s good to get out there and be able to compete and pitch again.”

Miner signed in the off-season with the Phillies organization and he had spent the entire campaign with the AAA Iron Pigs prior to his call-up on August 2nd. In 27 games (12 starts) in Allentown, he went 5-6 with a 3.90 ERA.

“I just want to make the most of the opportunities (with the Phillies) when I get them,” Miner says. “Throw strikes and hopefully stick around here for the next couple months.”

Miner was a fourth-round pick of the Tigers back in 2000 and he says the last few years have made him really appreciate the chance he is getting now.

“You kind of take little things for granted being in the big leagues and the stuff that goes (with) it,” Miner says. “It definitely gives you a better view on how special it is to be up here.”

Miner and the Phillies open a weekend series in Washington, D.C. on Friday night.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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