Olivia Dunne Sparks Hype for Pirates' Paul Skenes' Minor League Start

Skenes' Minor League Debut Encounter Raises Eyebrows.

by Nouman Rasool
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Olivia Dunne Sparks Hype for Pirates' Paul Skenes' Minor League Start
© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates enthusiasts eagerly awaiting Paul Skenes' Major League Baseball debut might need to exercise patience, as manager Derek Shelton indicates he's not yet primed for promotion. In remarks made on Monday, Shelton conveyed that Skenes' upcoming start remains slated for Triple-A Indianapolis this approaching weekend, emphasizing that discussions regarding his transition to the Pirates haven't surfaced.

"Speculative conjectures divert energy from constructive focus," Shelton remarked during an interview with Audacy’s 93.7 The Fan.

Skenes' Girlfriend Sparks Excitement

Amid mounting anticipation fueled by Skenes' girlfriend, Olivia Dunne, a notable LSU gymnast, who showcased his Pirates jersey on her Snapchat account, excitement surged among fans.

However, the trajectory took an unexpected turn during his recent outing at Triple-A Indianapolis. Skenes, confronted with Buffalo Bisons' Will Robertson, surrendered his inaugural minor league home run, culminating in a premature removal from the mound after tallying four strikeouts and 66 pitches.

Addressing Skenes' performance, Pirates' general manager Ben Cherington underscored the significance of this developmental milestone. "Today marks another pivotal moment in Skenes' professional journey—a maiden start on a four-day rest interval.

While seemingly inconsequential, each benchmark underscores his remarkable adaptability," Cherington conveyed in an interview with the station on Sunday. Hailing as last year's premier selection after an illustrious collegiate tenure at LSU, where he amassed an impressive record of 13-2 with a stellar 1.69 ERA and 209 strikeouts, Skenes emerges as a beacon of promise for the Pirates, epitomizing the organization's commitment to nurturing burgeoning talent.

As the anticipation for Skenes' ascension to the majors intensifies, the Pirates organization, under Shelton's pragmatic guidance, remains steadfast in their approach, prioritizing the prospect's holistic development over hasty elevation.

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