Paul Skenes needed 2 innings to let Pirates know he’s ready for the show

Paul Skenes is that guy.

Mar 3, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (30) throws a pitch in
Mar 3, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (30) throws a pitch in / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates made the decision to have Jared Jones, one of their top prospects, on their Opening Day roster to begin the 2024 campaign. The decision to roster Jones was a surprise because teams often try and manipulate service time with their top prospects. Jones proved he was ready to go this spring, and the Pirates rewarded that.

Jones made his first MLB start on Saturday and looked great, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings pitched in a win against the Marlins, striking out ten batters, and recording 22 swings and misses. He showed the kind of pitcher he can be, and he's not even the best pitching prospect Pittsburgh has to offer.

Paul Skenes is not only the best prospect in Pittsburgh's system, but he's arguably the best pitching prospect in the major leagues. He was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft for a reason, and in his first start of the 2024 campaign, he showed that he might not be so far away from making his MLB debut.

Paul Skenes already proved he's ready for the big leagues with dominant first start

Nine up, nine down and five strikeouts for Skenes who made his first start with the Indianapolis Indians, Pittsburgh's AAA affiliate. Skenes made just five appearances in the Pirates system last season after being drafted and another two this spring, but he's continued to show that he has the stuff to dominate MLB competition already.

Skenes will likely need more time to stretch out in the minors as he did only go two innings on Saturday, but once he's ready to pitch like a starter, the Pirates would be foolish to waste his bullets in the minors if they're serious about winning.

The Pirates have an exciting young team, but their rotation, even with Jones, leaves a lot to be desired. Their fifth starter as of now is Bailey Falter. It's not a hot take to say that Skenes is already a much better option. Once he gets stretched out, the Pirates must do what is right and give him the call.