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Derek Shelton Says Paul Skenes Scheduled to Pitch in Indy for Next Start

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Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (30) wipes his brow on the mound in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., Monday, March 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

There continues to be more and more speculation that right-handed pitching prospect Paul Skenes will make his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend at PNC Park.

Skenes pitched for Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday meaning his next turn in the rotation on regular rest would be on Friday. The Pirates will host the Chicago Cubs that night.

While Skenes looks ready to make the jump from Triple-A Indianapolis, Pirates manager Derek Shelton said for now, Skenes is scheduled to pitch with Indianapolis.

“He’s scheduled to pitch in Indy this week,” Shelton said. “I think with him, there was speculation he was gonna pitch in this series because he pitched yesterday. I think when you have someone that’s talented like he is, there’s always gonna be speculation and people are always gonna have it figured out. Well, we haven’t figured it out yet.

“The people that have speculated on it are purely gonna speculate on when he pitches. I heard speculation that he was gonna pitch (Sunday) because it was his day to pitch or he was gonna pitch (Monday).”

For the first time in his career, Skenes pitched on four days rest when he took the mound on Sunday. The right-hander allowed two runs, one of which came on a home run, and struck out four batters in 4.1 innings pitched.

The Pirates have often talked about Skenes needing to “check off boxes” before he’s promoted to the big leagues and pitching on an MLB rest schedule was one he needed to check off.

While Friday seems like a logical time to promote the 2023 top pick, it may not come just yet.

On the year with Indianapolis, Skenes has an immaculate 0.99 ERA across seven starts. He’s struck out 45 batters in 27.1 innings and has held opponents to a .175 batting average against.

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