Kuhl has solidified his standing as the team's No. 4 starter with a strong spring. "Kuhl has been on the inside track, and I've acknowledged that from (the start of) camp," GM Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He's continued to throw the ball well. Yeah, I think it's easy to acknowledge that he continues to be on the inside track."

He's only thrown seven innings (2.57 ERA) in three Grapefruit League games, but that comes on top of a solid 2016 second half. As a ninth-round pick in 2013, it's fair to say Kuhl has exceeded expectations with single-season stops from Low-A to Triple-A. Now he'll get his chance to show Pittsburgh that he's a capable mid-level innings-eater. The team has a number of other options chomping at the bit, so Kuhl will have to pitch well from the get-go.

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