Arrival of other pitching prospects
Skenes and Chandler aren't the only Pirates' top pitching prospects who should arrive in the majors next season. There are plenty more who could solidify the starting rotation throughout the year. The Pirates are relying a decent amount on some of these guys to eventually secure a rotation spot.
Jared Jones posted above-average numbers at Triple-A, as did Anthony Solometo. Both made significant steps forward in 2023. Jones' control has improved, and he quickly adapted to the automatic ball-strike system implemented at Triple-A despite starting the year at Double-A, where that was not used. Solometo has gained a few ticks of velocity while maintaining his outstanding command.
There are plenty more pitching prospects on the horizon. The Pirates added Braxton Ashcraft to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Regardless of whether he ends up as a starting pitcher or reliever, he's on pace to make his debut next year. Jackson Wolf is a side-arm lefty who was added to the 40-man roster when the Pirates acquired him from the San Diego Padres. Wolf has already made his MLB debut but will be one of Triple-A Indianapolis' starters to open the year.
The Pirates will also see Mike Burrows return, leading to another potential starting pitching option. Burrows likely would have gotten a chance at a starting rotation spot last year had it not been for April Tommy John surgery. He is another potential summer reinforcement.