By Greg Brown

PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington joined Greg Brown Sunday for his weekly show on The Fan.

The Pirates opened the season with seven of their first 11 games decided by one run.

“Our offense has continued to hit and miss, and our pitching’s continued to do a great job. So that’s a recipe, individual-wise, for close games,” Huntington said.

Brown asked Huntington if he is satisfied with the lineup as it’s constructed.

“We do. Obviously we’ve got work to do. We kind of sit in the middle of the pack, We had the one 12-run game that skews our numbers a little bit,” Huntington said. “In our minds, it’s not going to happen like some of our guys are hitting right now. It’s the beautiful part of the game, we’re about 50 plate appearances in, there’s about 600 for some guys left, and we’ve got some talented guys that will get on the right track. We’ve got some other guys that are holding their own, and some other guys like Pedro (Alvarez) and Russ (Martin) that have gotten off to a great start.”

Huntington provided an update on pitching prospect Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John surgery. Huntington said that the club received favorable reports, and Taillon has begun the long process of rehabbing. Brown asked how Taillon’s injury would impact the team’s future plans for Francisco Liriano.

“Having Jameson or not really is a separate entity from our attempts to keep Francisco Liriano in a Pirates uniform,” Huntington said. “If he continues to throw the ball the way he’s thrown it for us in the thirteen months that he’s been here, it’s going to be awfully, awfully challenging for us to keep him.”

In other injury news, right handed pitching prospect Luis Heredia was pulled from his start Saturday with Class A West Virginia with shoulder issues.

“He had some tightness in his shoulder, took himself out,” Huntington said. “We’d like to say he took himself early enough, but this has been bothering him off and on, really hadn’t come forward and let our guys know, which is so crucial to injury prevention.”

Huntington added that the club was still in the process of evaluating the injury.

Brown asked if Huntington liked the way that the Pirates are using instant replay.

“I do. I think Clint (Hurdle) has made the right calls to challenge and the right calls not to challenge,” he said. “Our relay system, whether it’s the guys in the clubhouse to Banny (Jeff Bannister) on the phone, it seems like it’s working out fine.”

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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