Paul Skenes' next start won't come at the major-league level, but his debut can't be far at this point, right? 

Skenes, the Pirates top pitching prospect (if we're not counting Jared Jones) and the No. 1 pick in last year's MLB draft, has been absolutely unhittable at Triple-A, striking out 41 of 88 batters faced and generally looking completely overqualified for the minors. And as Scott White wrote in his Prospects Report Thursday, the fact that Skenes went six innings in his most recent start for the first time as a professional seems to indicate that his debut is looming.

However, the Pirates have already announced that he'll make at least one more start at Triple-A Indianapolis Sunday, so we're going to be waiting at least a little longer. But there is one noteworthy aspect to that scheduling, and it's that Skenes will be pitching on four-day's rest for the first time. He's starting to dial the pitch count up (75 in his last start) and now he's pitching as if in a five-man rotation for the first time … yeah, he's getting close.

I don't know if I expect Skenes to make just the one last start at Triple-A or a couple more, but I agree with Scott that he's going to get the call sometime in May. Skenes is already 88% rostered in CBS Fantasy leagues, so there aren't many leagues where you can still stash him, but if you're in one of them, absolutely do so.

Skenes is the biggest name prospect we're waiting on, but he certainly isn't the only one. Christian Scott is being called up to start for the Mets this weekend, and I'll have more on him in today's newsletter, but Scott (White) has plenty of other prospects to know about in his column, so make sure you check that out.

In the rest of today's newsletter, we've got our standard Friday edition, with a bunch of pitchers for you to watch this weekend, plus the rest of the news and performances you need to know about from Thursday's action around the league. Let's get to it, beginning with your weekend viewing guide and four pitchers you might want to add even before they throw this weekend: 

Just go add them now!

Christian Scott, Mets @TB, Saturday (32%) – Scott is getting the call to start for the Mets, and there's a lot to be excited about here, even if only had him as a top-100 prospect coming into the season. Scott took a big step forward last season has carried it over into 2024, with 36 strikeouts and only six walks in 25.1 innings of work, and while command is his primary selling point, the stuff has played up over the last year or so after he reworked his four-seam fastball. It has played as an elite pitch, though we obviously shouldn't expect him to continue to run a 30% swing-and-miss rate on the pitch against major-leaguers with how much he tends to pitch in the zone. He has three quality secondary offerings, though none necessarily jump out as elite offerings – Lance Brozdowski had a great breakdown of Scott's profile and arsenal that you should check out here. There could be some issues with homers, and his profile may not play up against lefties right away, but I'm still willing to add him everywhere I can based on a 2.68 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 87.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A over the past year. 

Erick Fedde, White Sox @STL, Saturday (63%) – A lackluster spring killed whatever sleeper appeal Fedde had coming into the season, but consecutive gems last week, featuring 20 strikeouts over 14.1 innings, have brought us back on board. Can he sustain his current success? I'm not sure there's enough swing-and-miss in the overall profile to have a ton of confidence in that, though the fact that he's found success over the past two starts while leaning on his splitter and sweeper alternately does give me some hope. Still, that kind of stretch is enough to make him worth adding in all formats, just in case. 

Reese Olson, Tigers @NYY, Friday (51%) – Olson has a couple of terrific swing-and-miss offerings between his slider and changeup, but he hasn't been able to consistently find strikeouts, probably because of a couple of  exceedingly pedestrian fastballs. Still, Olson generally has a good approach and has pitched very well since last September, posting a 2.26 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 59.2 innings over his past 10 starts. That ERA isn't sustainable, but I do think he looks more or less like a must-roster pitcher right now, with even more strikeout upside if he figures out a way to use those secondaries to put more batters away. 

John Means, Orioles @CIN, Saturday (39%) – Means is definitely a step down from the first three here, but with his next start expected to come in the Orioles rotation, I'm intrigued enough to take a flier ahead of that debut, just in case. He was a pretty good pitcher back in 2021, the last time he was healthy, posting a 3.62 ERA despite a massive 1.8 HR/9 mark. The Orioles have moved the fences at Camden Yards back in the time since, so if he can rediscover that form, that could help solve his biggest issue. My expectations aren't super high, but one can hope. 

Just give us a reason to be optimistic …

Pablo Lopez, Twins vs. BOS, Saturday – I had Lopez in this spot last weekend, and he responded with another ho-hum outing. I haven't really been inspired to move him down in the rankings much yet, though he did slip behind Tarik Skubal in my update this week. But he still mostly looks really good – a 2.97 xERA, with basically identical strikeout and walk rates from last season. But we'd sure like to see a start where he goes out for seven innings, strikes out a bunch of batters, and gets that season ERA below 4.00, wouldn't we? 

Logan Webb, Giants @PHI, Sunday – As for Lopez, I'm not really worried about Webb yet, but there are definitely more red flags in his profile than with most of the other top-15 starting pitchers, most notably with his whiff rates. Webb is still generating a ton of weak contact on the ground, but his whiff rate on his changeup and sweeper are both below 20% – they were 22.8% and 28.6% last season, respectively. The location, velocity, and movement profiles on his pitches are very similar to last season, so I don't see much reason to be too concerned that this trend will continue, and I'm generally willing to chalk it up mostly to noise and less than ideal execution. But we'd like to see a vintage Webb start, with a bunch of whiffs and weak contact on his primary pitches. 

Reid Detmers, Angels @CLE, Saturday – Through his first four starts, Detmers looked like the guy we hoped he would be when he was one of the most popular breakout picks in Fantasy last season, but the past two starts have looked a lot more like the disappointing version of him we actually got. And there's one thing that especially continues to stand out: Detmers can't get lefties out! This was his primary issue last season, and though the sample size is small, he's allowing a .233/.343/.433 line to LHB this season – weird stuff for a lefty who throws 94-96 with a good slider, right? Maybe he needs to start throwing a sinker to alleviate those reverse splits, or maybe he needs to throw his curveball more against them. Because, despite making changes to his slider, it just isn't getting the job done. I remain very optimistic about Detmers, who is pitching better on the whole than he did last season, but this is one red flag I can't ignore. 

Garrett Crochet, White Sox @STL, Sunday – His last outing wasn't his best, but it was pretty promising, with Crochet finding a way to succeed without leaning on his slider. He actually used his changeup more in that one, and it was pretty effective, a pretty promising sign for a guy who has mostly been a two-pitch pitcher before that. If he has that as another weapon, it's just another reason to keep buying into Crochet, whose inflated ERA hides really intriguing skills growth. Now he just has to get back to turning that into actual results. 

Still worth rostering?

Michael King, Padres @ARI, Saturday (88%) – If it was just homer issues, I could forgive King's struggles – a 24.4% HR/FB rate isn't sustainable, after all. That'll get better. But it's also coming with a massive 13% walk rate, and that's where I just can't get on board. He needs significant improvement across multiple axes to find success moving forward, and unless he starts showing that improvement immediately, it's going to be pretty easy to just drop him in all but H2H points leagues, where his RP eligibility does at least give him a larger margin for error. 

Gavin Stone, Dodgers vs. ATL, Friday (52%) – Stone's changeup is awesome, as expected, with a 40% whiff rate and .182 expected wOBA allowed that both stand as borderline elite marks. The problem is, well, everything else. Or at least, everything hard and mostly straight, because Stone's sinker, four-seamer, and cutter all have expected wOBAs of at least .368 this season while being used 59.4% of the time. That's just not a viable approach, and what's especially baffling is that Stone's changeup usage has gone down in every start so far. This just isn't a viable recipe for success, and Stone is at the point where he needs to give me a reason to keep him around – and his two-strikeout, two-walk outing in his most recent outing wasn't it, despite seven quality innings. 

Charlie Morton, Braves @LAD, Friday (93%) – I don't know if Morton is the most overrostered player in Fantasy right now, because he does at least bring solid win potential and strikeouts to the table, but I don't really see much reason to view him as a must-roster player either, especially once his .273 BABIP regresses. He's mostly been fine, to be fair, but I definitely don't want to start him against the Dodgers, and a bad enough start could put him on the drop list. 

Aaron Civale, Rays vs. NYM, Friday (90%) – There's actually plenty to be encouraged by with Civale, who is sporting a career-high 24.6% strikeout rate while keeping his walk rate right at 6.5%, where it was last season. The problem, as was the case when he was traded to Tampa last season, is he's getting crushed, with six homers allowed and more than a hit per inning. The underlying quality of contact data is actually pretty solid, so it might just be a bit of bad luck, though with it carrying over from last season, it's hard to just write off.  

Brady Singer, Royals vs. TEX, Friday (88%) – I know he's got the 2.62 ERA, but I see very little in Singer's profile worth buying. His strikeout rate is up to 24.5%, but his walk rate has also ballooned to a career-high rate, and he continues to get hit hard when he gives up contact, hence a 4.33 xERA that is more than 1.5 runs higher than his actual mark. It's worked out so far for Singer, but there's going to be a reckoning at some point, and if you find someone with more upside on the wire, I'd be fine dropping him regardless of the results against Texas. 

Andrew Abbott, Reds vs. BAL, Saturday (52%) – Like with Singer, it's worked out so far, to the tune of a 3.27 ERA, and he actually has a 3.36 xERA to back it up. But I just don't see how he can keep getting away with this. Abbott is an extreme flyball pitcher working in the worst park in baseball for homers, and while he is doing a good job of limiting damage on contact, I just don't see how this approach keeps working for him with a below-average strikeout rate – and there's very little in the underlying data to suggest much improvement is coming in that regard. 

Clarke Schmidt, Yankees vs. DET, Saturday (63%) – Schmidt falls in a similar bucket to the previous two names, though in his case, he is at least racking up a healthy amount of strikeouts. The problem here is more about a lack of upside, as the Yankees just clearly don't trust him to pitch more than twice through the order, as he has topped out at 5.2 innings of work despite a 3.19 ERA. He isn't an especially efficient pitcher, which means that, despite a solid strikeout rate, you just aren't going to get many high strikeout starts, and his chances of getting wins probably aren't as good as you think, either. He's a fine streamer, including against a vulnerable Tigers lineup, but he's not someone I'm particularly excited about, either. 

Time to buy in? 

Casey Mize, Tigers @NYY, Saturday (55%) – I just can't bring myself to buy into Mize's early-season success, mostly because it's come with just a 15.9% strikeout rate. Mize is back to sitting in the mid-to-high 90s, but he has just one pitch with a whiff rate over 17%, his splitter, and that just isn't going to get it done. He's generating a ton of weak contact, and his slider sure looks like it should be a better whiff pitch, so if he figures out a way to generate them, it won't take much to get me to buy in. 

Keaton Winn, Giants @PHI, Saturday (55%) – Winn is a weird pitcher, because his splitter is a very good pitch – good enough that he uses it as his No. 1! – but it hasn't necessarily been a Kevin Gausman-esque whiff monster. He kind of has to pitch backwards, relying on the splitter for soft contact and then using the four-seamer as his primary putaway pitch. If he finds a way to get more whiffs with the splitter, it might not take much for him to take off.