Cishek with the Tampa Bay Rays
|Chicago Cubs - No. 41|
|Born: June 18, 1986|
|September 20, 2010, for the Florida Marlins|
|MLB statistics |
(through August 21, 2019)
|Earned run average||2.73|
Steven R. Cishek (SEE-sheck) (born June 18, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Florida / Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays. He holds the Marlins franchise record for consecutive saves with 33 in a row.
Born and raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Cishek attended Falmouth High School where he starred as a pitcher and also played basketball. Not heavily recruited out of high school by Division I schools, Cishek attended Division II Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and led the team to a conference championship in 2007.
Cishek was selected by the Marlins in the fifth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. Cishek was called up to the major leagues for the first time on September 20, 2010. He pitched 4.1 scoreless innings towards the end of the season.
On May 24, 2011, Cishek was called up once again to join the Marlins after Jay Buente was designated for assignment. In 2012, Heath Bell was demoted as the team's closer and Cishek assumed the role for about a week. After a few relief appearances by Bell, he regained the closer's role. After about two months as the closer, Bell was demoted to a relief pitcher and Cishek took over the closer role again.
Cishek flourished in 2013, his first full season as Miami's closer, converting 34 of his 36 save opportunities, while posting a 2.33 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He played with Miami again in 2014 and 2015. On June 1, 2015, Cishek was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville to work on his mechanics. To that point in the season, he had posted a 6.98 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 10 walks.
On July 24, 2015, Cishek was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for RHP Kyle Barraclough. He debuted for the Cardinals on July 26 in a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves, pitching one scoreless inning but being charged with an error on a pickoff attempt. The Cardinals did not tender Cishek a contract for the 2016 season, making him a free agent.
On December 14, 2015, Cishek agreed to a two-year contract worth $10 million with the Seattle Mariners. After going 25 for 31 in save opportunities, the Mariners removed Cishek as closer for a temporary basis. On August 5, he was placed on the disabled list with a hip injury.
Cishek is primarily a sinkerballer who, despite utilizing a sidearm delivery, is able to throw his sinker with above-average velocity ranging from 91 miles per hour (146 km/h) to 94 miles per hour (151 km/h). His secondary pitch is a slider in the 82 miles per hour (132 km/h) to 85 miles per hour (137 km/h) range, a pitch he uses more commonly against right-handed hitters. Additionally, he has a four-seam fastball and a changeup; he uses the changeup exclusively against left-handed hitters, and that pitch ranges from 83 miles per hour (134 km/h) to 86 miles per hour (138 km/h). Cishek features his slider liberally in two-strike counts, especially 1-2.
Cishek got married to Marissa (Mitchell) Cishek in November 2012. Their first child, Emmie, was born in October 2014. Their second child, Avery, was born in October 2016. Cishek is a Christian. Growing up in Massachusetts, Cishek was a fan of the Boston Red Sox.