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Skenes excited to join Pirates: 'A lot to look forward to'

Christopher Pasatieri / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Paul Skenes is looking forward to joining a Pittsburgh Pirates team he believes is on the rise in the NL Central.

"I would definitely say we're close," Skenes said Friday, per Noah Hiles of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think being around the team in spring training and watching the club over the past month or so, we're close. I think there is a lot to look forward to."

Skenes will make his highly anticipated MLB debut Saturday against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. The 21-year-old is the game's top pitching prospect and dominated hitters at Triple-A, posting a 0.99 ERA and 14.82 K/9 across seven starts this season.

Skenes could form a dynamic duo atop the Pirates rotation with electric rookie right-hander Jared Jones, who's scheduled to start Friday's series opener. Jones has taken the league by storm in 2024, registering a 2.41 ERA, 11.41 K/9, and 1.1 BB/9 in 41 innings.

"It's been really fun to watch," Skenes said of the Pirates rotation, according to's Alex Stumpf. "I've obviously been watching as a fan for the past month or so. But yeah, I'm excited."

Pirates starting pitchers rank ninth in the league in ERA this season.

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