Former Clemson Baseball Star Set To Start Against Paul Skenes

Carson Spiers is going to get a chance to start against one of Major League Baseball’s top young stars.
May 26, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Carson Spiers (68) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park.
May 26, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Carson Spiers (68) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

One-time Clemson Tigers closer Carson Spiers is now a starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. On Monday he’ll face one of the most hyped young pitchers in the game.

The Reds are going to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates at PNC Park in a three-game series. Spiers — who has only drawn two MLB starts since his debut last season — will make his first start this season against Pirates star Paul Skenes.

Spiers has been up-and-down with the Reds all season, spending most of his time with Triple-A Louisville. He was most recently recalled on June 9.

In five relief appearances with the Reds he hasn’t figured in a decision. But he has a 2.33 ERA in 19.1 innings, with 15 strikeouts and four walks.

His most recent relief appearance was on June 9 against the Chicago Cubs as he threw 5.2 innings and allowed no earned runs. He gave up four hits, one walk and struck out seven.

That’s vast improvement from his brief appearance with the Reds last season, during which he went 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA. He appeared in four games and started two. He struck out 12 and walked seven in 13 innings.

While Spiers signed with the Reds as a free agent in 2020 when the MLB Draft was just five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Skenes was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft after an illustrious career at LSU, capped by leading the Tigers to last year’s national championship.

The right-hander made quick work of the Pirates’ minor league system and was called up on May 11 from Triple-A Indianapolis to make his Major League debut.

He enters Monday’s game with a 3-0 record and a 2.43 ERA in six starts. He has struck out 46 and walked six in 33.1 innings. He’s now on the radar for NL Rookie of the Year.

After a standout career at Greenville (S.C.) high school in both football and baseball, Spiers committed to Clemson and played baseball for three seasons.

He emerged as the Tigers’ full-time closer in 2019 and finished his Tigers career with a 7-7 record with a 2.47 ERA, 19 saves and 103 strikeouts in 109.1 innings.

He also spent time with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2018, where he had a 0.84 ERA.


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Matt Postins

MATT POSTINS