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Harris earning higher profile in D-backs' bullpen

Harris earning higher profile in D-backs' bullpen

PHOENIX -- Outing by outing over the past season, D-backs reliever Will Harris has methodically built a case to pitch in higher leverage situations.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson used Harris in the eighth inning Tuesday night to protect a 5-4 lead against the Giants.

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With setup man David Hernandez out for the year after having Tommy John surgery, it opens the door for Harris to take his spot in the eighth inning.

"It's something that you've kind of got to earn a little bit," Harris said. "That's fine by me."

Harris compiled a 2.91 ERA in 61 relief appearances last year and followed that up with a good spring. Still, until Randall Delgado moved from the 'pen to the rotation following the injury to Patrick Corbin, it looked like Harris might have to start the year at Triple-A Reno.

Harris said he did not pay attention to the roster speculation during the spring.

"I've always taken the approach that if you pitch well and if you're good enough to pitch in the big leagues, you'll pitch in the big leagues," he said. "They'll find a spot for you. If you can help a team win, then you'll be here, and if they don't feel like you can help the team win, then you won't. I just try to do whatever I can to help the team win and I feel like the other will take care of itself."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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