Saturday marked the end of an era.

A frustrating, aggravating, mind-numbing era that probably should have ended two years ago and definitely should have ended last year.

But the Phillies let this one go way past the expiration date. They took the bag of chips known as Vince Velazquez and hoped that it would still have some flavor after it expired and realized once the seal was broken, it was just as stale as everyone else thought it would be.

So, finally, after more painstaking drama than was absolutely necessary, the Phillies designated Velasquez for assignment Saturday, ending his six-year run of empty promise with the ballclub.

Velasquez, 29, was on a rehab assignment with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs that wasn’t going well. Vinny Velo was so uninspiring at the AAA level that the Phillies chose to rely on an inconsistent and less-than-stellar bullpen to pitch games every fifth day in the middle of a playoff race, rather than bring Velasquez back to the major leagues.

He started his rehab last month pitching out of the bullpen with Class A Clearwater, he threw seven decent innings. He was then transferred to Lehigh Valley, where he was asked to pitch longer and made two starts, going 3innings in one and 3 2/3 innings in the other.

None of his appearances in the minors were particularly bad, but the Phillies didn’t see what they needed to see to ask him to come back to the majors and decided, enough was enough.

Velasquez was 3-6 with a 6.06 ERA in 81 2/3 innings for the Phillies before being sidelined with a finger injury.

For his career with the Phillies, Velasquez was 30-40 with a 4.93 ERA and a lofty WHIP of 1.40 (12.7 baserunners per nine innings).

Velasquez will now be on waivers and see if another team is willing to take a flier on him.

Here are the two highlights of Velasquez’s rocky tenure in Philadelphia:

In other Phillies news Saturday, Matt Joyce (back) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list. He had 62 plate appearances for the Phillies before his injury and was mostly ineffective as a pinch hitter.

Also recalled from Lehigh Valley were Mickey Moniak and Adonis Medina. Moniak is just another bench bat (as if the Phillies weren’t already left-handed lopsided they added two more lefties to the bench). Medina is more interesting. He is a starter and could be used instead of bullpen games in the three spots remaining in the schedule that the Phillies were planning on throwing bullpen games. Either that or he’ll be a multi-inning reliever.

To make room for Joyce, Medina and Moniak, the Phillies optioned both Enyel De Los Santos and Ramon Rosso back to Lehigh Valley and place Travis Jankowski on the 10-Day IL with a right foot contusion.