BRADENTON, Fla. — In more ways than one, Chad Kuhl was a completely different pitcher from the start of the 2017 season to the end of the 2017 season.

In the first half of the season, Kuhl made 18 starts, pitched 85.1 innings and had a 4.96 ERA. In the second half of the season, Kuhl made 13 starts, pitched 72 innings and had a 3.63 ERA.

Obviously, there’s a huge difference in outcomes there. Which pitcher are the Pirates likely to get in 2018? Well, it’s a complicated question. Let’s start with the numbers and what made the difference for Kuhl after the break in 2017.

When looking at Kuhl’s rate stats, one thing jumps out quickly. In the second half of the season, Kuhl allowed a lot less contact. His batting average against went down from .276 to .250. Kuhl’s success was built on...

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