It's easy to come up with the biggest story in the first half for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's pitching. Starting pitching. Relief pitching. Pitching depth. Pitching prospects. Every topic related to pitching was the biggest thing of the first half, and all of it was a disaster.

The Pirates went into the season with a plan to go with Jon Niese, Jeff Locke, and Ryan Vogelsong as three of their starters. They believed they could make a few mechanical adjustments with Niese, getting him back to his success before the 2015 season, when he fell out of the very talented Mets rotation. They worked on simplifying Locke's delivery, taking him back to mechanics that he used in the minors, in an attempt to improve his control. That was a questionable call, since he moved from those mechanics to fi...

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