Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals, over the past few seasons, have been in the enviable position of having multiple relievers that would likely be able to close on other teams. They could add to that stable of potential closers with Steve Cishek, the former closer of the Marlins.
In 2013 and 2014, Cishek was one of the better closers in the National League. Using his sidearm delivery and relying primarily upon his sinker and curve to generate ground balls, Cishek had a 2.73 ERA and a 1.141 WHiP, notching 73 saves while striking out 158 batters in 135 innings. Then, the wheels fell off last season. Cishek was removed from the closer role early in the season and struggled for the Marlins, posting a 2-6 record with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.594 WHiP. This was not the pitcher the Marlins had come to expect.
Traded to the Cardinals, it seemed as though Cishek turned his season around. In his 27 games in St. Louis, he posted a 2.31 ERA and a 1.329 WHiP, striking out 20 batters in 23.1 innings. However, Cishek continued to struggle with his command, walking 13 batters.
Should a team manage to get Cishek to harness his stuff once again, they could have a longer term piece for the bullpen. Theoretically under control until 2018, Cishek could be a low cost option for a team looking for more than a one year reclamation project.
Another ground ball pitcher, Steve Cishek could be a nice fit for the Kansas City Royals. Without having to even be the primary setup man, he could work his way back into form and help the Royals rebuild a dominant bullpen.
Next: Another former closer