Steve Cishek
Steve Cishek (52032863426) (cropped).jpg
Cishek with the Washington Nationals in 2022
Washington Nationals – No. 33
Born: (1986-06-18) June 18, 1986 (age 36)
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 20, 2010, for the Florida Marlins
MLB statistics
(through June 22, 2022)
Win–loss record32–41
Earned run average2.95

Steven R. Cishek (/sˈʃɛk/) (born June 18, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Florida / Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels. He holds the Marlins franchise record for consecutive saves, with 33 in a row.

Amateur career

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.[1][2]

Professional career

Florida / Miami Marlins

The Florida Marlins selected Cishek in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB draft. Cishek was called up to the MLB for the first time on September 20, 2010.[3] He pitched 4+13 scoreless innings towards the end of the season.

Cishek with the Miami Marlins in 2013
Cishek with the Miami Marlins in 2013

On May 24, 2011, Cishek was called up once again to join the Marlins after Jay Buente was designated for assignment.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

St. Louis Cardinals

On July 24, 2015, Cishek was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for RHP Kyle Barraclough.[7] 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.[8] The Cardinals did not tender Cishek a contract for the 2016 season, making him a free agent.[9]

Seattle Mariners

On December 14, 2015, Cishek agreed to a two-year contract worth $10 million with the Seattle Mariners.[10] 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.

Tampa Bay Rays

Cishek with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017
Cishek with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017

On July 28, 2017, the Mariners traded Cishek to the Tampa Bay Rays for Erasmo Ramírez.[11]

Chicago Cubs

On December 16, 2017, Cishek signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.[12] On August 20, 2019, he was reactivated from the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.[13]

Chicago White Sox

On January 14, 2020, Cishek signed a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox.[14] With the 2020 Chicago White Sox, Cishek appeared in 22 games, compiling a 0–0 record with 5.40 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20.0 innings pitched.[15] Cishek was designated for the assignment by the White Sox on September 24.[16] He was released by the organization on September 28.[17]

Houston Astros

Cishek with the Nationals in 2022
Cishek with the Nationals in 2022

On February 9, 2021, Cishek signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros organization that included an invitation to Spring Training.[18] On March 25, 2021, Cishek requested and was granted his release.[19]

Los Angeles Angels

On March 29, 2021, Cishek signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.[20]

Washington Nationals

On March 14, 2022, Cishek signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals.[21]

Player profile

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 82–85 miles per hour (132–137 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.[22]

Personal life

Cishek married Marissa (Mitchell) Cishek in November 2012. The couple have three daughters together.[23] Cishek is a Christian.[24] Growing up in Massachusetts, Cishek was a fan of the Boston Red Sox.[1]


  1. ^ a b "New England Roots: Steve Cishek". June 25, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Eagle Profile: Steve Cishek – RHP – Florida Marlins". June 27, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Charpentier, Russ (September 20, 2010). "Baseball: Falmouth's Cishek promoted to Marlins". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Capozzi, Joe (May 24, 2011). "Florida Marlins re-call Steve Cishek, designate Jay Buente". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  5. ^ "Heath Bell candid in interview". September 24, 2012. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Butt, Jason (June 1, 2015). "Marlins option P Steve Cishek to Double-A to work on mechanics". Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Marlins trade Steve Cishek to Cardinals for pitching prospect". Sports Illustrated. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "Braves 3, Cardinals 2". July 26, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Steve Cishek: Non-tendered by Cardinals". December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Mariners agree with closer Steve Cishek on two-year deal". December 12, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  11. ^ Johns, Greg (July 28, 2017). "Mariners acquire Ramirez in swap for Cishek". Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Muskat, Carrie (December 16, 2017). "Cubs, Cishek agree to 2-year deal". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Cubs activate reliever Cishek from IL". Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  14. ^ "White Sox officially add Steve Cishek as 2020 bullpen takes shape". NBC Sports. January 14, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  15. ^ "Steve Cishek Stats, Fantasy & News".
  16. ^ "White Sox Designate Steve Cishek, Ross Detwiler for Assignment".
  17. ^ "White Sox Release Steve Cishek; Ross Detwiler Elects Free Agency".
  18. ^ "Astros Sign Steve Cishek to Minor League Deal".
  19. ^ "Astros Release Steve Cishek".
  20. ^ "Angels add veterans Watson, Cishek to bullpen". March 30, 2021.
  21. ^ "Washington Nationals agree to terms with Ehire Adrianza and Steve Cishek". March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  22. ^ "PITCHf/x Player Card: Steven Cishek". Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  23. ^ "Conscientious Cishek paving path in baseball and faith". Carson-Newman. October 21, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  24. ^ Darnall, Bruce A. (February 20, 2015). "Truth Hits a Home Run for Marlins Reliever". Athletes in Action. Archived from the original on April 11, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.