The Pittsburgh Pirates Have an Opening in Starting Rotation, But Paul Skenes Won't Be Filling it Yet

The Pittsburgh Pirates recently placed starting pitcher Marco Gonzales on the injured list with a forearm issue and they won't be bringing up baseball's top pitching prospect to take his place.
Jul 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (left) is
Jul 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (left) is / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Pittsburgh Pirates won't be bringing up baseball's top pitching prospect, Paul Skenes, to take the rotation spot vacated by injured veteran Marco Gonzales.

Gonzales hit the injured list this past weekend with a forearm issue but general manager Ben Cherington says Skenes will be staying in Triple-A.


However, No. 1 prospect Paul Skenes is not currently in the mix to take that spot. The Pirates have been very deliberate with his workload and build-up for the season, and he’s just not stretched out enough yet. He threw 55 pitches over 3 1/3 innings his last outing Friday, both of which are highs in his young professional career.

“We don’t want to go from zero to 100 right away,” said general manager Ben Cherington on his 93.7 The Fan radio show Sunday afternoon. “... We want to take it a step at a time.”

That makes sense. The Pirates don't want to rush Skenes, and furthermore, once they bring him up, you'd like to think it will be for good. He's dominated in the early going this year at Triple-A, striking out 19 batters in 9.1 innings this year. He regularly tops 100 miles per hour with his fastball.

A national champion last year at LSU, Skenes was the No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft last July. He is expected to make his debut at some point this season.

The Pirates are currently 11-6 on the season and will take on the New York Mets on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Brady Farkas


Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.