He’s a bit unusual. He likens himself to Shrek for some reason, despite his slender frame, relying on the way his last name sounds perhaps (his Twitter handle is @srSHREK31). He’s an unabashed Christian. His delivery looks a bit more like Dan Quisenberry than anything prototypical. Yet in Steve Cishek, the Marlins may have found their answer for the end of the bullpen.
In a season in which everything the Marlins did went haywire, the investment they put into Heath Bell was not returned and the Marlins were, yet again, scratching around for an answer. Cishek brought the Fish relief getting 15 saves in 19 opportunities. He also made 68 appearances, logging 63 frames sporting a 2.69 ERA with 68Ks and 29BBs.
Now, over the course of two solid stints with the Marlins, Cishek has maintained a mid-2.00 ERA and has shown an ability to keep hitters off balance (hitting .221) and getting them out. His submarine delivery has been effective and isn’t just a gimmick as he has the tools to mix up his pitches effectively and get the needed K. But can he take on the closer’s role for a full season and be the “man” for the Marlins?
Reports are he is already in Jupiter working out and getting ready for the upcoming season – about 1 month before pitchers and catchers report. He’s not alone as Tom Koehler is also getting to work, hoping to get that 5th starting spot, but it seems that Cishek may have the skills and the mental wiring necessary to seize this opportunity and run with it. He emerges as the favorite to lock down the job, although AJ Ramos may offer some competition as well. Yet in Cishek you find someone that may come to typify the 2013 Marlins – a hardworking young player just trying to make the most of his opportunity. With his “aw shucks” attitude, he may become a likable personality far beyond Miami as well.