How much history can Skenes and Jones make in 2024?

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
1 of 4

The Pirates entered the American Association and, thus, major organized baseball 142 years ago. While the past few years (even decades) of heartbreak might cloud some fans’ memories, Pittsburgh can claim dozens of Hall of Famers and countless standout seasons. With all that weight of history, is it possible that a pair of rookies could land in the history books as the greatest Pirates pitching duo of all time?

Jared Jones is already rewriting history books, stacking up the strikeouts, and making opposing batters look foolish. FanGraphs’ PitchingBot system credits Jones with the best overall makeup in the Majors so far, largely thanks to his top-ranking fastball. He also boasts a top-five changeup according to that model. Jones has also produced the top whiff rate in the Majors this season, according to Statcast.

Paul Skenes joined the big leagues on Saturday and, despite iffy fastball control, wowed the crowd. He generated a whiff rate of 35 percent, which would be good for a top-three ranking if he had enough innings to qualify. The Cubs played spoiler this weekend, taking two out of a three-game set, but Jones and Skenes have an opportunity for swift revenge. On Thursday and Friday, Chicago will get another taste of a conundrum that will face teams throughout the season – a Jones-Skenes 1-2 punch – as the rookies are slated to go back-to-back at Wrigley Field this Thursday and Friday. If this duo lives up to the hype over the course of the 2024 season, they could enter an elite company in the history of both the Majors and the franchise.