There were a handful of bright spots in the Phillies’ disappointing 2013 season:

Domonic Brown had a strong first half on his way to the All-Star Game. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were stellar in the second half. Chase Utley managed to get his knee condition under control. Ben Revere put together 2 1/2 excellent months before his season ended with a broken ankle in mid-July. Carlos Ruiz finished strong. Jake Diekman’s control improved and his confidence soared in the final weeks of the season.

Jonathan Pettibone slips through the cracks a little bit because he missed the final two months of the season with a sore shoulder.

But a look back at the 23-year-old right-hander’s season shows that he too was a bright spot in a dark season.

Pettibone came up in April when injuries began to hit the Phillies’ rotation. What looked like a temporary stay turned into 18 starts. Pettibone allowed three or fewer runs in 15 of those 18 starts and the Phillies were 10-8 in those games.

“I got called up sooner than I anticipated” Pettibone said earlier this week at the Phils’ minor-league complex in Clearwater where he continues to rehab his shoulder.

“The goal was to stay as long as possible. The goal each start was to keep them in the game as much as possible. I felt if I did that the chances would be greater they’d want me around more because nothing was really promised for me besides that first start.”

Pettibone averaged less than six innings in his 18 starts. He will look to go deeper into games in 2014. But first things first: The club’s third-round pick from the 2008 draft needs to get completely healthy.

He’s almost there.

Pettibone was diagnosed with tendinitis in his rotator cuff and biceps tendon in July. He made a couple of minor-league rehab starts in August but was still tender. He was shut down for six weeks and began a throwing program in Florida three weeks ago. So far so good.