Let me get this out of the way first: all we've seen so far is half of Spring Training, and Kevin Hart could very well completely turn it around in the next 2 1/2 weeks or once the season starts. He would be far from the first. And of course I'm rooting for that.
That said: how long do you think the Pirates would put up with this kind of performance from him, and how long should they? Let's stipulate that he gets it at least somewhat together, with a WHIP under 2 in his last Grapefruit start or two, and that he's not completely imploding in his first regular season start or two. But that he's otherwise pretty bad - JVB bad, or Herrera bad.
Dejan Kovacevic said in his article yesterday that part of the organization's thinking is that, with days off in early April, he'll only start once or twice in the first few weeks, and he can work with Kerrigan in between starts. That sounds to me like he gets to at least May 1, so that he can have, say, 3 starts on normal rest. Is he on a short leash at that point? Or are they willing to let him struggle all the way to June? I don't really see why they would, given No Relation's evident competence (if not upside), but I sense that this is what the front office is thinking. I suspect they'll hang on to any shred of progress to justify letting him blow up every fifth day.
I'm just not sure why. I get his potential, surely, and I'm not saying give up on the guy. It's just not at all clear to me how it helps him to get shelled in Pittsburgh when it's his mechanics that are flawed (DK said his pre-game warmup the other day was a disaster as well). This isn't a guy who has dominated in AAA and needs to translate it at the major league level: it's a guy with 24 career starts in AAA (granted, good ones). I think his development is at much greater risk in Pittsburgh than in Indy.