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Sep 03, 2023

Spiers Makes MLB Debut

By: Brian Hennessy

CLEMSON, S.C. – Former Tiger righthander Carson Spiers (Greenville, S.C.) made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds as a starter on the mound at home against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon. He pitched 4.0 innings (87 pitches), allowing five hits, three runs and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Spiers, the nephew of former Tiger and 13-year MLB veteran Bill Spiers and son of former Clemson baseball player Michael Spiers, became the sixth former Tiger to play in an MLB game with the Reds and first since 2022 (Chris Okey). He also became the 69th former Tiger overall to play in a major league game and seventh in 2023. He became the second former Tiger to make his MLB debut in 2023 as well, joining Weston Wilson.

The two-time All-ACC Academic selection and four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member had a 7-7 record, 19 saves, a 2.47 ERA, .180 opponents’ batting average and 103 strikeouts against 38 walks in 109.1 innings pitched over 71 relief appearances in his Tiger career (2017-20), as he never started a game in a Clemson uniform. His 5.76 hits-per-nine-innings-pitched mark (third), 19 saves (tied for third) and 2.47 ERA are all top-10 career marks in the Tiger recordbook.

In 2018, his second season at Clemson, he had four saves, a 2.08 ERA and .149 opponents’ batting average in 43.1 innings pitched. Spiers was a Third-Team All-ACC selection in 2019, when he received the Tiger Baseball Award as the team’s best leader and was named a team co-captain. That year, he had 11 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 30 relief appearances. After the shortened 2020 season, when he had a 3-0 record, four saves, an 0.00 ERA and an .098 opponents’ batting average in 15.1 innings pitched, he signed a free-agent contract with the Reds.

Spiers played at every level of the Reds’ organization in the minor leagues between 2021-23. In 2023 with the Reds’ AA affiliate (Chattanooga), he is 8-3 with a 3.69 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 83.0 innings pitched over 28 appearances (nine starts). In 316.1 innings pitched over 80 appearances (52 starts) in his minor league career, he is 20-13 with one save, a 4.27 ERA and 341 strikeouts.

Every Tiger team from 1974 to 2020 had at least one future major leaguer on its roster.