Ex-UT Martin player signs with Mariners
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:00 pm
Wes Alsup, the University of Tennessee at Martin’s all-time single-season saves leader, has signed with the Seattle Mariners — joining his second Major League Baseball team since his record-setting 2010 season in the Skyhawk program.
Alsup, a native of Lebanon, donned the UT Martin uniform from 2009-10.
While battling injuries in the early part of his career, he emerged as one of the most feared closers in the Ohio Valley Conference during his junior campaign in 2010.
In just 17 innings spanning over 15 appearances, the 6-2 righty tallied seven saves — a Skyhawk single-season record. Alsup, who boasted a mid-90s fastball, amassed 22 strikeouts in 66 at-bats against him that season.
After posting a 2.05 ERA in 22 appearances for the Joliet JackHammers of the independent Northern League in 2010, Alsup signed with the Atlanta Braves in October.
During the conclusion of the 2011 spring training schedule, Alsup was assigned to the Rome Braves (Atlanta’s single-A affiliate), where he fanned 14 batters against only five walks in 14.1 innings. However, Alsup received his outright release on May 20.
It didn’t take long for Alsup to remain unsigned, as the Windy City Thunder-Bolts of the independent Frontier League officially picked up the fireballer on May 24.
Almost immediately after joining the ThunderBolt bullpen in the season’s opening weekend, he found his groove.
Eventually earning the squad’s closer role, Alsup recorded eight saves and one mound victory in 38 appearances.
In 34 innings, he allowed only five extra-base hits while striking out 61 opponents for an eye-popping 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings average — a league-high. In one span of 11 appearances, Alsup did not allow an earned run from July 20 through Aug. 14.
Alsup was then scooped up by the Mariners on Jan. 16, where he hopefully can work his way through their minor league system — which would include a stop with the nearby Jackson Generals (Seattle’s double-A affiliate). Published in The WCP 1.24.12