Luis Ortiz set to continue push for the rotation, Paul Skenes to follow

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Luis Ortiz (#48) practices his pickoff move to first base during practice
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Luis Ortiz (#48) practices his pickoff move to first base during practice / Mike Lang / USA TODAY NETWORK

Luis Ortiz will continue his push for a spot in the Pirate starting rotation on Monday afternoon with Paul Skenes set to follow him

The Grapefruit League season continues to roll along for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following a 5-2 loss against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, dropping the Bucs to 3-6 this spring, they will do battle with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon.

Luis Ortiz is set to start for the Pirates. This will be the next opportunity for Ortiz to make his case for one of the two available spots in the Pirate starting rotation. It will be the second start of the spring for Ortiz, who allowed an unearned run on a hit, a walk, and two strikeouts in 2 innings pitched in his first spring outing.

In that start, Ortiz's velocity was back up in the area the Pirate and their fans saw during his cup of coffee in the majors in September 2022. Ortiz flashed an explosive fastball and a nasty sinker on his way to pitching 2 strong innings.

Skenes set to follow Ortiz

After Ortiz's day ends, Paul Skenes will take the mound.

This will be the second Grapefruit League appearance for Skenes. The no. 1 overall pick in last summer's draft, Skenes pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his Grapefruit League debut this past Thursday. Skenes needed just 10 pitches to retire the Orioles in order and hit 102 MPH on the radar gun.

While Skenes will start the season in the minors, each outing he has in the Grapefruit League is a glimpse into the future of the Pirate starting rotation. Sooner rather than later Skenes will be in the Pirate rotation and looked upon to be the team's ace. Skenes will be looking to impress once again on Monday afternoon.

First pitch between the Pirates and Rays from Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET on Monday afternoon. You can listen to the game on the MLB At-Bat App, as well as the Audacy App.

3 Pirate players impressing, seizing opportunity this spring. dark. Next. 3 imrpessing/seizing