Results tagged ‘ Miami Marlins ’

Q and A With Steve Cishek

Steve Cishek was drafted by the Marlins in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. Since the draft, Cishek has had a good deal of success, hi-res-149450835_display_imageposting stellar numbers over the past four years, finishing each of his big league seasons with an ERA below three.

Cishek made his major league debut in 2010, and began serving as the on and off closer for the Marlins in 2012, before becoming the full time closer for the 2013 season. Despite a rough start, Cishek finished 2013 with a 2.33 ERA over 69.2 innings pitched, striking out 74 while tallying up 34 saves.

With his consistency, Cishek should continue to serve as an effective closer for the Marlins for years to come. Regardless of his unconventional sidearm delivery, he has deceptive stuff that should lead him to more of the same success down the road.

Steve Cishek — closer for the Marlins — took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Who was your biggest baseball influence growing up?

My Dad would always tell me that when I was a kid I always wanted him, or anyone capable of throwing a round object, to pitch to me. That’s all I would say — “Pitch to me.” So I have loved baseball as long as I can remember. I also really enjoyed watching the Red Sox, especially when Mo Vaughn was hitting. And then when Nomar became popular he was my favorite to watch.

2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?

My favorite player growing up was definitely Nomar Garciaparra. He was the best on the team, and it was like a rivalry with Yankees fans and Jeter. So I had to cheer extra hard when Nomar was playing the Yanks.

3.) You were drafted by the Marlins in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. What was that process like for you? Where were you when you first found out? Initial thoughts?

The process was exciting/nerve wracking. I filled out a lot of player profiles for almost every team; it was like extra homework. But when it came to draft day, I was pretty nervous. When my name popped up on the draft board we all freaked out. We had dial-up internet then, so the draft board was loading sooo slow. I was losing my mind. But my name popped up, and I got a phone call soon after from the Marlins’ scout, and I realized I had a new and unique journey that was about to unfold.

4.) Why did you decide to pitch with a sidearm delivery versus a traditional delivery? When did you first begin using it?

I didn’t realize I threw from my arm slot until I got to college. Even today I feel like I throw over hand. But back in high school and college I was a low 3/4 slot, and I think when I got to pro ball and the big leagues my arm slot got lower because I was throwing a lot more often.

5.) You took part in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. What was the overall experience like? What did you take away from it?

The WBC was the best baseball experience I have ever had. It was so humbling to look around the locker room and see the caliber of players in there. I never imagined I would be wearing the same jersey as any of these guys, let alone be wearing a USA jersey. And the games — I hadn’t been that nervous in a game probably ever. There was nothing like playing against another country while representing your country (from a sporting standpoint). I got to pitch in high pressure situations, so I learned a lot about taking a step back and relaxing/calming my nerves. So I felt that it prepared me for high pressure situations during the season.

6.) As the Marlins’ closer, how do you prepare yourself mentally to come into the game in the ninth inning, knowing it’s your job to hold down the lead for the team win?

I prepare to close a game the same way I would prepare for any other situation. I go through my routine and after the 6th inning I like to stand for the rest of the game so I don’t get lazy. I get pretty fired up when my name is called to go in but what makes my job more stress free than the other person is that I am playing for Him, and not to please people. I pull a card that reads Colossians 3:23  ["Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."] out of my back pocket to remember that before every outing. And no matter what, if I do well or poorly, I know God still loves me and I am satisfied with that.

7.) Despite a rough start to the year, you pulled things together to have the best statistical season of your career thus far. What changed that enabled you to have success in the remainder of the season?

Baseball is so mental, and I went through a period where I was playing scared. We were not winning many games and when I went in it was only when we were winning. So I put a lot of pressure on myself to get the job done and that resulted in me playing scared. My coaches worked with me a lot, but ultimately it took two Christian brothers, Juan Pierre and Chris Coghlan, to come confront me and basically tell me I need to let it go and leave it in God’s hands. I asked God for forgiveness for playing to please man and I accepted His will.

8.) What do you feel went well in 2013? What are your goals for 2014?

I felt like the team showed flashes of being a great team. From late May to early July, we had the 2nd best record in the NL. We have great young talent that is so close to being ready for the big leagues; I can’t wait to see what we are capable of in the future. Our goals are obviously to win a championship, but I feel it is much more important to have smaller goals that lead up to that big goal. My goal is just to get better everyday and to try and be a light as much as possible on and off the field.

9.) Favorite TV show? Favorite food?

My wife and I are really into a lot of TV shows. We enjoy suspenseful shows and ’24’ is on that list. When we have down time, especially after a long day, we may come home and watch an episode, just to relax and enjoy each other. My favorite food is definitely chicken parm. Anytime I go to a new restaurant, I have to try it if they have it on the menu.

10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out that dream of playing professional baseball one day?

I would tell them to leave the video games alone until night time and enjoy playing outside. When I was growing up we played every sport and we competed every day in our neighborhood. I am so thankful for the neighborhood we grew up in because we were always playing outside. You name the sport, we played it. So make sure you stay active and play other sports too. You don’t want to get burnt out playing baseball all the time. And when you are old enough to concentrate on one sport: (1) Play for His glory (2) Work as hard as you can at it (Col. 3:23), because someone else is probably working harder than you.

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Big thanks to Steve Cishek for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can follow him on Twitter: @srSHREK31

Stanton Heating Up: Still Bound For A Subpar Season?

After failing to hit a home run in his first 17 games of the season, Giancarlo Stanton has started to heat up lately, as he’s blasted (and I do mean blasted) three home runs in his past two games. But while this is certainly great for both Stanton and the Marlins, you have to question whether hi-res-165543857_display_imageit will actually play out over the remainder of the season.

If Stanton continues to tear it up at the plate, it’s likely he’ll find himself getting walked more and more, as there’s really no one in the Marlins’ lineup that can hurt a team as much as Stanton.

If Stanton can’t swing the bat, he can’t hit home runs.

Taking a look at Stanton’s stats so far this season, the additional walks are already taking place. Having only been walked 46 times last year, in which he hit 37 homers, Stanton is on pace to reach base via walk 78 times; that’s going off him playing 123 games like last year.

Assuming Stanton stays healthy for most of the season, resulting in more games played, it’s not all that hard to imagine him getting walked over 100 times. If he still continues to rake, perhaps even more than that.

So where does that leave Giancarlo Stanton?

The absolute best thing that can happen to Stanton is for him to get traded. A big blockbuster trade would be beneficial to both Stanton, helping him to somewhat salvage what’s sure to be a non-Stanton season, as well as the Marlins, gaining them some key pieces that will help them win more games down the road.

Stanton alone, while he’s an incredibly talented player, isn’t going to win the Marlins games. Maybe a few, here and there, but not enough to affect the outcome of a season. They need more than just one guy.

Therefore, sitting just four home runs shy of the 100th for his career, while Giancarlo Stanton will undoubtedly reach the milestone sometime within the next week or two, I see it being the last milestone he’ll achieve in a Marlins uniform.

Yoenis Cespedes Signs With Oakland

When I woke up Monday morning the rumor was still that the Miami Marlins were the front-running candidates to sign Cuban phenom, Yoenis Cespedes. That’s why it was a huge shock to me, and most of the baseball world, when it was announced that Cespedes had signed a 4-year, 36 million dollar deal, with the Oakland Athletics. As far as the move goes, I’m not sure what the logic is behind it, on both Billy Beane, and Yoenis Cespedes’s part. As far as Billy Beane goes, we all know this guy makes crazy moves, but in my opinion this move is crazy even for him. The Athletics traded away three of their best pitchers (Trevor Cahill, Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez) during the offseason. Replacing them with a big bat will only go so far in helping your team. You need starting pitching, as well as a good offensive lineup to help your team win games.

The Athletics did pick up pitching prospect Jarrod Parker from the Diamondbacks, but to me they still need one more guy on the roster to help this team be even slightly more successful than they were last season. Manny Ramirez could be the addition they need, as rumor has it that Oakland is still looking to sign him. Although I feel Ramirez’s career in MLB has run it’s course I’m not going to pitch a fit if he ends up signing with the Athletics; or any team for that matter. I think it’d be interesting to see whether or not he still has the ability to help a team win, or do just the opposite.

Moving on, let me take a minute to tell you how I feel the Yoenis Cepedes signing will effect the team. First of all, I’d like to point out (in case you’ve forgotten) that the Athletics finished next to last this past season, just beating out the Mariners. I feel that the Mariners will flip flop spots with the Athletics this year. Reason being, the Mariners have several young guys that I feel will come through big for them this season. The main guy to watch being Jesus Montero, who was traded by the Yankees. If Montero can put up big numbers in Seattle I can see the Mariners doing well this season. As far as the Athletics go, I just don’t see enough talent there to give them a chance at coming in any higher than last place in the AL West division. But Oakland, if you’re reading this (haha), prove me wrong.

If you’ve got a minute (or 20) take the time to watch ‘The Showcase’ video of Yoenis Cespedes, if you haven’t already seen it. The guy’s in freakishly good shape:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

Miami Marlins New Look

The Marlins’ new look began to take shape back on September 28, when the signing of Ozzie Guillen, as their new manager, was made official with a press conference. Things took off from there. Next came changing the team name from Florida Marlins, to Miami Marlins, which subsequently lead to a new logo, as well as new uniforms. But the biggest news thus far isn’t the new uniforms or manager, but the newest members of the Miami Marlins, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes. Reyes–who signed a six-year, 106 Million dollar contract–is sure to help the Marlins out tremendoulsy, with his great speed and hitting ability, while Bell–who signed a three-year 27 Million dollar contract–is sure to close out plenty of games. Both of these signings were great ones for the Miami Marlins, but all this money spent so far brings up a major question: Will the signing of Bell and Reyes increase attendance for the 2012 season?

So, will the addition of Heath Bell and Jose Reyes to the Marlins spark baseball fans’ interests enough to get them to buy tickets and take a trip to the ballpark? The Marlins better hope so. I need not remind you of the scene that took place at a Marlins-Reds game in August of this past season. A mere 347 “fans” attended that game:

The Marlins needed to find a way to boost attendance levels, and I think they found it. With the additon of Guillen, Bell and Reyes–with talk of Pujols recieving a ten-year offer exceeding 200 Million dollars– combined with the new ballpark and uniforms, I think the 2012 attendance levels will be up, and stay up as long as the Marlins begin, and continue, to win. If not, I can very easily see the Marlins’ attendance going back to their well-known levels.

Please take a moment to vote in the polls below.

1) On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being AWESOME) how would you rank the Miami Marlin’s new uniforms?

2) On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being AWESOME) how would you rank the Miami Marlin’s new logo?

3) Lastly, do you think the Miami Marlin’s attendance levels will increase for the 2012 season?

 If you have any further comments, please feel free to leave one below.

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