As the clock continues to tick closer and closer to the MLB Trade Deadline on Thursday, Marlins fans continue to zone in on the future of current closer Steve Cishek. Even though the trade rumors surrounding the stellar closer has seemingly died off because of Miami's recent stretch of success, Cishek's name will still be on the mouth of most baseball insiders, as we move closer to Thursday's deadline.
Despite those continuing trade rumors, Cishek has continued to be one of the focal points of the Marlins organization. During the team's recent stretch of winning six straight and nine out of their last ten games, Cishek has been able to be an extremely consistent bullpen option, on a night-by-night basis. As we continue to progress through an era in which teams are extremely tentative about their pitchers, it's become uncommon for somebody like Cishek to be on the mound on a night-by-night basis.
Since the start of the 2nd half of the season, Cishek has been on an astounding stretch where he's been able to snatch up eight straight saves in a span of ten days. During that astonishing span, Cishek's K/9 ratio has elevated to an outstanding 14.14, which is a slight elevation from his normal 11.07 ratio. That solid stretch combined with Miami's recent performance lead Cishek to join Mets' right-handed starter Jacob deGrom as the National League's Co-Player of the Week.
While Cishek's recent outstanding performance has moved him to the center of the National League landscape, that shouldn't hide how solid he's been throughout the 2014 season. As the Marlins have had their fair share of road bumps, Cishek has been one of the lone consistent aspects of the team.
One of the biggest reasons behind Cishek being one of the most solid relievers in the game stands with his continued ability to keep the ball inside Marlins Park. During the current season, Cishek is in possession of a solid .39 HR/9 ratio which is small than the likes of Glen Perkins, Zach Duke and Dellin Betances.
One of the main reasons behind Cishek's ability to keep the ball inside the park is because of the fact that he doesn't really having any reliance on a top-notch fastball. While he is in possession of a pretty solid two-seamer that averages out at around 91 MPH, Cishek is able to rely on a combination of a sinker and slider. That duo of pitches allows Cishek to easily control the strike zone, which has consistently been one of his major strengths since his Marlins debut. Speaking of his ability to consistently work inside the strike zone, Cishek has been able to maintain that consistency with an extremely solid 2.72 BB/( which are his best numbers since the 2010 season.
Even though Cishek may have plenty of value as a potential trade piece, the right-handed reliever may be more beneficial with his current role as the Marlins reliever. As we currently stand, it appears that the Marlins have a possible playoff berth in their near-future plans and having a steady closer like Cishek is going to be a huge factor to make sure that goal becomes fulfilled.