Manager Mike Redmond would not commit to a closer change but that does not mean he is not considering making one. Steve Cishek blew his fourth save in his last seven chances on Monday night in Los Angeles, and according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the Marlins are expected to utilize several other relievers in the ninth inning until Cishek becomes consistent.
Cishek, 28, allowed a three-run home run to Scott Van Slyke in the bottom of the ninth that resulted in a 5-3 Dodgers victory. The blown save was Cishek's second in as many days and came after a Christian Yelich home run gave the Marlins an edge in the top of the frame.
In 11.1 innings, Cishek has posted a 10.32 ERA and 5.26 FIP. His 10.32 K/9 is notable, however he has also had difficulty throwing strikes at times (6.35 BB/9).
The Marlins' bullpen has been used often over the first few weeks of the 2015 season and the club could turn to other internal options moving forward. A.J. Ramos may be the most intriguing option since he posesses a power fastball and several offspeed pitches. Ramos has posted a 1.06 ERA and 1.91 FIP in 17.0 innings, and although he has had command trouble in the past, could emerge as the favorite to pitch the ninth innings when the Marlins have an edge.
Bryan Morris (4.60 ERA and 3.91 FIP in 15.2 innings) and Mike Dunn (4.26 ERA and 4.01 FIP in 12.2 innings) can also pitch the ninth as necessary. Redmond could use Dunn in left-handed matchups late in games.
Cishek has already blown as many saves as he did in 2014, a season during which he converted 39 of 43 opportunities. While Redmond was not clear about his plans for the immediate future and Cishek expressed his frustration, Fox Sports Florida's Tommy Hutton believes it is time for the Marlins to move on from Cishek, at least for the time being (via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald).
"You just can't continue to let that happen," Fox analyst Tommy Hutton said. "It's devastating to a ball club. You've got to find somebody else to close games while Cishek irons it out. You have to make a change... You see fastballs up, you see sliders down over the plate."
Miami could also explore the market, with Rafael Soriano still available and struggling teams open to moving bullpen pieces. The Marlins want to remain competitive and temporarily finding a new closer may enable them to do so.