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Perrotto: Sizing up Paul Skenes’ All-Star Game Chances

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

It has become one of the most frequently asked questions around the Pittsburgh Pirates. And it is an interesting one to ponder.

Will rookie sensation Paul Skenes be selected to the All-Star Game?

That’s a hard question to answer. Skenes didn’t make his major-league debut until May 11, so his candidacy got a late start to participate in the game, which will be played on July 16 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Skenes has been outstanding, with a 4-0 record and 2.14 ERA in eight starts. The 22-year-old has 61 strikeouts in 46.2 innings and allowed 38 hits and just eight walks.

Seeing how Skenes stacks up among National League pitchers since his debut is interesting.

His 61 strikeouts are fourth behind the San Diego Padres’ Dylan Cease (65), the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tyler Glasnow (62) and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Freddy Peralta (62).

In strikeouts per nine innings, Skenes’ 11.85 mark ranks third. He trails Glasnow (12.98) and Cease (11.94)

However, Skenes does not rank as highly in some other important statistical categories as might be expected.

His four wins are just 10th in the NL. His ERA is sixth and his 0.99 WHIP is seventh. Skenes’ ERA is just second on the Pirates as Mitch Keller has a 2.01 mark since May 11.

Skenes, though, has been a sensation since making his debut and is living up to the reputation that preceded him. The first pick in last year’s amateur draft has had most of his starts televised on MLB Network and the league’s website, MLB.com, calls it “Skenes Day” whenever he pitches.

That hype could lead to Skenes getting an invitation to Arlington.

The roster size for each league in the All-Star Game is 32 players and the rosters will be announced July 7. Nine position players are voted in by the fans and nine more in a vote among players, who also choose five starting pitchers and three relievers.

That leaves six spots for Major League Baseball to fill at its discretion. Some of those slots will go to teams that do not have a player elected because each franchise is guaranteed to have at least one player selected.

The decision for MLB could come down to whether they want to go with star power in Skenes or reward a player who has been in the big leagues since the start of the season.

It’s a difficult choice. It is called the All-Star Game, though, and Skenes has plenty of star power.

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