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Notre Dame Baseball

RHP Caden Spivey, Notre Dame Leaning on Experience & Maturity in 2024

February 19, 2024
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2024 will be a big year for Notre Dame sophomore RHP Caden Spivey. 

The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder is coming off an impressive freshman campaign that saw him become one of Notre Dame’s top relievers. 

Now, the Vidalia (Ga.) native will be tasked with a starting role and made his second career start in Notre Dame’s 3-1 Opening Day win over the weekend at Rice. 

Spivey went 3.0 innings giving up three hits and one run, while striking out one. It was a solid performance, but more importantly, it gave him a chance to work his new pitch arsenal, which includes adding a changeup to his deadly slider. 

“I would say the velo tick up in the fall is going to help a lot,” said Spivey, who was clocked at 95 on Friday. “I had a true four-seam last year and played it as a two-seam - ran it in on guys a lot.

“This year, I’m playing it as a true four-seam up in the zone with an actual sinker going to a two-seam. Hopefully, we can get the changeup to be in the arsenal and use it against guys. Obviously, the slider was my pitch last year and will be this year too.” 

The changeup is the pitch Spivey is growing confidence in and more game reps will only help fine-tune it. 

“It’s such a new pitch from what I’ve thrown my whole life,” explained Spivey. “That’s where I lose confidence in it. The confidence I’ve gained with that pitch over the fall and spring has been tremendous.” 

Spivey’s offseason was a little different than most college baseball players. Instead of playing in a summer league, Spivey focused on development, which in turn, provided him a little more rest after throwing 432 pitches in 15 appearances in 2023. 

“I didn’t play summer ball,” stated Spivey. “That’s a testament to the coaching staff genuinely wanting guys to develop. I got to work in Atlanta with Full Count Georgia. We worked on mechanics and when we got there, we decided to split the two fastball shapes and work on the changeup.”

Notre Dame pitching coach Seth Voltz also made sure to have his hands all over the development of Spivey and the other Irish pitchers. Voltz is known for his extremely detailed plans for his pitchers, but as a group, the focus was on mental training. 

“We’re huge on our mental game and I think that is a separator for our staff,” Spivey explained. “The ability to compartmentalize innings and go pitch-to-pitch or living to the next pitch. We really put a lot of emphasis on that aspect of the pitching game.” 

Entering the season, Notre Dame didn’t receive a lot of respect as they were picked to finish No. 6 in the ACC Atlantic. The lack of respect has been noticed by the Irish program, but it’s not a talking point.

Spivey and several other pitchers were thrown to the wolves at times in 2023. They had ups and downs, but they also gained valuable experience to take in to ACC play this season. 

And it showed over the weekend as Notre Dame swept Rice on opening weekend. 

“I’m very confident given the arsenal I had last season and how effective it was for me,” Spivey said. “I’m extremely confident in myself, but also in what our staff will be able to do against the ACC.

“Maturity is an improvement from last year and just getting older. We were so young across the board with our pitching staff. We have actual experience. Development and pitching have improved from last year. We have some really good pitchers on this staff, but maturity, experience and gaining innings has been big.” 

Notre Dame will travel to Florida International for a four-game series starting on Thursday. 

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