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Pirates GM: Skenes to keep 'building his volume' at Triple-A

Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect Paul Skenes won't be joining the starting rotation in the near future despite the team's immediate need for pitching.

"With Paul, we have been very intentional about how we are building his volume coming into the season," Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Sunday.

He said the team is looking to get its young star to "an appropriate total volume for 2024 coming off last year, when he pitched a full college season and then just a little bit of pro ball."

Questions regarding Skenes' potential promotion come in light of Marco Gonzales' recent injury. The left-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list Sunday with left forearm tightness.

Skenes, MLB Pipeline's third-ranked prospect, was taken first overall in the 2023 MLB Draft. The 21-year-old's allowed no earned runs and struck out 19 batters over 9 1/3 innings across three dominant starts at Triple-A in 2024. The team hasn't allowed him to pitch beyond the fourth inning so far.

Cherington said Pittsburgh's "looking at guys who have been in that 85-90 pitch count," citing 2019 first-round pick Quinn Priester as a more likely candidate to fill the fifth rotation spot.

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