Steven R. Cishek
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 6", Weight 200 lb.
- School Carson-Newman College
- High School Falmouth High School
- Debut September 26, 2010
Steve Cishek set a Miami Marlins team record by being successful in 33 straight save opportunities between June of 2013 and April 25, 2014, when he blew a 3-2 9th-inning lead against the New York Mets.
He made his major league debut in the final days of the 2010 season, then made 45 appearances out of the bullpen in 2011, with a 2.63 ERA and 3 saves. After free agent Heath Bell faltered as the Marlins' closer in 2012, Cishek took over for him late in the season and collected 15 saves down the stretch. Filling the role full time in 2013, he upped his total to 34 saves in spite of pitching for a last-place team. All of his numbers were excellent, including a 2.33 ERA in 69 2/3 innings and 74 strikeouts against only 22 walks. He led the National League with 62 games finished out of 69 appearances and had a 4-6 record. The Marlins were much improved in 2014, and Cishek continued to excel in late-inning situations, even though his ERA was above 3.00 for the first time. He set a new personal mark for saves when he recorded number 35 on September 14th and finished the season with 39, the 5th most in the NL, to go along with a 4-5 record and a 3.17 ERA in 67 appearances.
Cishek struggled badly early in the 2015 season as he blew 4 of his first 7 save opportunities to be demoted form the closer's job in early May. The Marlins poor start led to the firing of manager Mike Redmond on May 17th. He then compounded his woes when he gave up a game-winning double to David Peralta of the Diamondbacks in the 13th inning of Dan Jennings' first game as the Marlins manager, to be saddled with a 3-2 loss. He continued to struggle in his next few outings and on June 1st, sporting a 6.98 ERA to go along with a 1-5 record, he was optioned to the AA Jacksonville Suns with the hope of finding back his groove. Jennings explained that his mechanics had gone out of whack, and that he needed to work on the problem away from the major league spotlight. He made 5 appearances with Jacksonville, not giving up a run, and was soon back with Miami. On July 24th, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, in return for prospect Kyle Barraclough. He was 2-6, 4.50 in 32 games at the time, but his ERA was 0.71 since coming back from his minor league stint.
Cishek has a sidearm motion that sees him release the ball from a point very close to the ground, helping to keep his pitches always down in the strike zone. His unusual pitching motion is confusing for batters, making his pitches much more effective than his radar gun readings would lead to believe. Unlike many other sidearm throwers, he is not particularly vulnerable to batters facing him from the other side (i.e. lefthanded batters) which has allowed him not be confined into the role of a specialist.
- 30 Saves Seasons: 2 (2013 & 2014)