UT Martin alum makes Chicago Cubs Opening Day roster

UT Martin alum makes Chicago Cubs Opening Day roster
Alec Mills, a UT Martin alum, was added to the Chicago Cubs Opening Day roster for 2020. (Source: Major League Baseball)

MARTIN, Tenn. (KFVS) - A former University of Tennessee at Martin pitcher made a Major League Baseball Opening Day roster.

Chicago Cubs manager David Ross announced on Wednesday that Alec Mills, a Clarksville, Tenn. native, earned a spot on the team’s starting rotation.

On Tuesday, July 28, the Cubs will take on the Cincinnati Reds. Mills is part of a Cubs starting rotation that includes Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood and Jon Lester.

Before becoming the first-ever Skyhawk to appear in a MLB game, Mills was at UT Martin from 2010-12.

According to the University, Mills still ranks on it’s top-10 career list in appearances (67, sixth), strikeouts (165, seventh) and wins (13, eighth).

Mills is one of five Ohio Valley Conference alums on MLB Opening Day rosters in 2020. He joined Belmont’s Matt Beaty, with the Los Angeles Dodgers; Austin Peay’s Ryne Harper, with the Washington Nationals; Southeast Missouri’s Joey Lucchesi, with the San Diego Padres; and Austin Peay’s Tyler Rogers with the San Francisco Giants.

In 2019, Mills had a 2.75 ERA, with 31 hits and 42 strikeouts in 36 innings. September was a great month for him.

  • Sept. 13 - his first career save (against Pittsburgh)
  • Sept. 16 - his first career victory (against Cincinnati)
  • Sept. 27 - his career-best nine-strikeout performance in only five innings (against St. Louis)

Mills was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft and was named an All-Star at three different levels of the minor leagues. He made his big-league debut on May 18, 2016 against the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Cubs on Feb. 8, 2017.

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