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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Pirates GM responds to calls to promote Paul Skenes

Paul Skenes in a Pirates hat and jersey

Jul 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes speaks a press conference before the Pirates play the Cleveland Guardians at PNC Park. Skenes was the Pirates first round pick and the overall number one pick in the 2023 MLB first year player draft. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking it slowly when it comes to promoting top pitching prospect Paul Skenes, much to the frustration of some of their fans. As far as Pirates GM Ben Cherington is concerned, however, the focus for Skenes is to keep gathering experience.

Cherington said on his weekly radio show Sunday that Skenes is continuing to check boxes, noting that Skenes’ Triple-A start on Sunday would be the first time he has ever worked on four days’ rest.

“We talk about boxes being checked, and today would be another one,” Cherington said, via Justin Guerriero of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s the first time, as a professional … that he’ll be starting a game on four days’ rest. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is the first time it’ll happen, and it’s another box to check. He’s been checking just about every box since the season started and responding incredibly well.”

Cherington admitted that there likely are days when Skenes wonders why he is still in Triple-A. Even if Skenes has his doubts, Cherington says once the pitcher gets to the ballpark, there are no issues with his work ethic.

Skenes gave up his first home run as a professional in his start on Sunday, but only allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work. He has been largely dominant in the minors. His MLB debut probably is not that far away.


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