05/01/11 8:46 PM ET
Younger Drew has upper hand on J.D.
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Heilman could be activated from DL soon
PHOENIX -- Right-hander Aaron Heilman had a positive bullpen session prior to Sunday's game and could be one more sideline exercise away from being activated to rejoin the D-backs' bullpen.Heilman went on the disabled list on April 15 with tendinitis in his right shoulder. "He looked good, was throwing free and easy," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Maybe he'll do another simulated game. But I could tell he's feeling better, stronger. He had good movement on the ball." Heilman has won his only decision and has a misleading 12.15 ERA. He had an effective start to his season, but allowed six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last appearance prior to going on the DL. Gibson didn't seem to think Heilman, who last saw action on April 13, would need any rehab outings before rejoining the fray, which would hasten his return. It would also accelerate the roster decision Gibson will have to make to create room for the veteran reliever. The manager shrugged. "You have to make [those decisions]. It's a good problem to have," Gibson said.
Although the D-backs bid a relieved 2011 farewell to Alfonso Soriano -- "We're happy to move on to the rest of the year without having to see him," manager Kirk Gibson said of the guy who batted .409 (9-for-22) with five homers in six games against his club -- they may have found their silver bullet against him: David Hernandez fanned him in a clutch situation Sunday for the second straight game. ... Xavier Nady delivered his second hit in five pinch-hit opportunities with an eighth-inning single. ... Daniel Hudson (108 pitches in seven innings on Sunday) is averaging 103 pitches in his first six starts.