Marlins 2014 Position Review: Closer


Steve Cishek was coming off a break out 2013 season, in which he set the Marlins’ franchise record for consecutive saves for a 100-loss team. He posted 2.1 WAR, and received a nice raise in arbitration. The side winder was looking to build on his breakout campaign, and assert himself as one of the top closers in the league.

Simply put, he failed to live up to expectations. He didn’t have a bad season by any means, but he took a step back as a 28 year old, and raised questions as to whether or not he is the answer for the franchise long term. His ERA rose to 3.17, but his FIP was lower than 2013, at 2.17. Some would argue that his FIP indicates he was better in 2014, but the fact is he allowed more hard contact, which raised his BABIP against. He simply wasn’t as effective with his fastball location, which became obvious when you watched him get into jams with more regularity. When he wasn’t locating the fastball, his slider was also less effective.

On a positive note, he set a career high in saves with 39, blowing 4. He actually generated more strikeouts in 2014, with a career high K% of 30.6. Watching Cishek pitch this year was definitely a more stressful experience than it has been in the past, there were nights where he just didn’t have it, and it was obvious from the first pitch.

I would have no problem with the Fish dealing Cishek this off season, because he’s going to get another big raise in arbitration if he sticks around. I understand that such a deal would not sit well with the fans, but Carter Capps could make everyone forget about him. If the team could save around 10 million dollars on a closer and put it towards a position player, (ala Pablo Sandoval) I would be a happy man.

#CishekTime might be out of time in Miami, and that’s a good thing, I promise.