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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Gerrit Cole offers Pirates advice on developing Paul Skenes

Gerrit Cole throwing

Feb 14, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a spring training workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Gerrit Cole and Paul Skenes were both selected No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates and came up through the organization. As Skenes prepares for his MLB debut, Cole thinks the Pirates would do well to heed some of his advice.

Cole was asked about Skenes by Dan Martin of the New York Post, and the New York Yankees ace admitted he has had one eye on the prospect’s progress. Cole admitted Skenes throws even harder than he did at that age and said he was rooting for Skenes, and suggested the Pirates turn Skenes loose and see what the rookie can do.

“We don’t know how good this guy is,” Cole said. “Nobody does. He could break the whole mold. He could be the greatest of all time. Why hold him back? Let him throw more, let him throw 98 [mph] instead of 102. If you limit him to 60 [pitches], he’s gonna go 103 [mph]. Let the horse run. Stretch him out. You’ve got a window now where you can develop him.”

The Pirates limited Skenes’ pitch counts in the minors, as most teams do now with their top young pitchers. Cole came up in an era where that did not happen as much, and he thinks that was beneficial for him.

Skenes’ promotion was announced this week and he will start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. It sounds like Cole will have one eye on his progress.

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