Pirate News - Spring Training Notebook: Paul Skenes Day, Quinn Priester's strong start, and more

The Pittsburgh Pirates young pitchers continue to impress so far in spring training and now, all eyes will be on No. 1 prospect Paul Skenes.
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Quinn Priester (#64) practices his pickoff move to first base during
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Quinn Priester (#64) practices his pickoff move to first base during / Mike Lang / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Paul Skenes Day! Quinn Priester pitches well in his spring debut. Plus, more news and notes from Bradenton and around baseball.

Good morning Pittsburgh Pirates fans and welcome to the first Paul Skenes day of Spring Training 2024. The No. 1 overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft will be making his Grapefruit League debut this afternoon as he goes up against Baltimore Orioles ace and former Milwaukee Brewer ace/Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes in Sarasota on Thursday afternoon. 

It will be Skenes first opportunity to face Major League talent after spending last year in Rookie Ball, Single A, and Double-A. With multiple Pirates prospects impressing so far this spring, all eyes will be on Skenes to continue that trend, especially with the anticipation that he will likely make his MLB Debut at some point this summer. 

Entering this season, the Pirates certainly have their handful of intriguing bats but it's possibly the oldest player on the team in Andrew McCutchen who could very well be the team's top bat in 2024, writes Noah Wright.


On Wednesday, the Pirates fell to the Detroit Tigers 5-3 at LECOM Park. It was a game that was highlighted by a Tsung-Che Cheng home run in the third inning. First baseman Connor Joe also went deep in the game for the Pirates. 

On the mound, Quinn Priester was very good in his two innings of work, throwing just 19 pitches to record six outs. He struck out just one in his two innings and worked around the strike zone with 13 of 19 pitches being strikes. Prior to Wednesday's outing, Marty Leap wrote about Priester and his opportunity this spring to earn a spot in the Pirate rotation.

Also impressive again on Wednesday was Jared Jones who went 1.2 innings, striking out two and throwing 15 of 29 pitches for strikes. It was Jones's second appearance of the spring and through both appearances, his fastball has looked strong, topping out at 99.6 mph and avreaging 97.8 mph while his secondary pitches have also been quite excellent. He used his slider 12 times on Wednesday, getting two whiffs on five swings. He also worked on his changeup and curveball across 29 total pitches.

For Pirates fans who may have missed it, MLB Network aired their 30 Clubs in 15 Days episode from Bradenton on Wednesday, fans can watch the full 20 minute episode on the Pirates official website for free.


It was a quiet day around the league, that being said, there was terrible news out of Boston. 

It was announced on Wednesday that Stacy Wakefield, the wife of the late great Tim Wakefield passed away following a battle with cancer. Tim, a former Pirate but most famously of the Red Sox passed away on October 1 after a battle with brain cancer.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wakefield family, especially their children, during this challenging time.

Next. cutch 2024 top pirate hitter. Cutch could be one of the team's best hitters this season. dark