MIAMI -- Phillies left-hander Jeremy Horst wants to stay in the big leagues for good this time.
The 26-year-old, who made his Major League debut last May as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, went on to pitch in 12 games and finished with a 2.93 ERA in several stints.
A non-roster invitee to Spring Training, Horst came over to the Phillies in January's Wilson Valdez trade. When Chad Qualls was designated for assignment on Thursday, Horst's contract was selected.
"I got up last year with Cincinnati for a couple of stints, and just that feeling of wanting to get back so bad, you know how to prepare and what to expect when you get there," Horst said.
Horst went 2-1 with two saves and a 2.11 ERA in 38 1/3 innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, aided by pitching coach Rod Nichols, who emphasized working in and out of the strike zone with all his pitches.
It certainly worked Friday night for Horst, who pitched a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts in his second appearance as a Phillie. In his Philadelphia debut on Thursday against the Pirates, he also pitched a scoreless frame.
"Just going after hitters right away and being aggressive and going after guys is something that is part of the way I've always pitched," Horst said. "It worked well for me down there, and take it up here and see what happens."
As a staff, the Phillies' bullpen has struggled for consistency. It currently holds a 9-13 record and 4.54 ERA, which is 12th in the National League and 25th overall. Horst hopes to provide stability.
"Whatever that role is going to be, I'll be happy to fill it and go out there and give it a 100 percent," Horst said. "I don't want to have any excuses when I come off and should've done this. This time around, I'm going to do everything I can to stay up here and help the team win."