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Gibson sticking behind reliever Aaron Heilman

PHOENIX – Arizona reliever Aaron Heilman has struggled mightily this season for the D-backs, prompting many to suggest the team should release him.

Manager Kirk Gibson is not in that camp of thought.

“You can’t give up on him. We know he’s got ability, that’s why he’s on our team. Teammates and good teams fight through and right themselves and that’s our intention,” the manager said on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash show on Wednesday.

Heilman has a whopping 8.84 ERA and has given up six home runs in only 19 innings of work this season.

Still, those numbers won’t prevent Gibson, who doesn’t believe in coddling players, from putting Heilman in key situations.

“We got to continue to put him in tough situations because the reward is much greater,” said Gibson.

Arizona has been rumored to be searching for another reliable reliever to take over the seventh inning of games, but Gibson believes the team can solve this problem internally if they can get Heilman turned around.

“It’s just a confidence thing. If we get him in a tough situation and he succeeds, now look where we’re at. That’s where we need to be,” said Gibson.

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