Steve Cishek
Steve Cishek
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Cishek was one of the handful of relievers who picked up saves in Chicago in 2019. At this stage of his career, the overall skills are mostly stable, but his K-BB% faded badly last season which ultimately made him too much of a risk to close. He has been a fascinating statistical study in that his ERA and FIP have been far apart in each of the past four seasons because he has left runners on base 83% of the time or more in each of the past four seasons. That kind of run is unheard of, which is how he has been able to keep his ERA below 3.00 in each of the past four years. If you squint long and hard, there is enough here to think he has a shot to close at some point in 2020 after signing with the White Sox. That said, there are concerns with lefties given the arm angle and his propensity to pitch around lefties to get to the righties. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the White Sox in January of 2020. Released by the White Sox in September of 2020.
Cut loose by White Sox
PFree Agent  
September 29, 2020
Cishek was released by the White Sox on Monday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
The White Sox could have picked up Cishek's team option for $6 million next season, but they'll instead send him to free agency slightly early after designating him for assignment the previous week. He wasn't impressive in his 20 innings of relief this season, posting a 5.40 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
17
Last 10 Games
20
Last 5 Games
21
How many pitches does Steve Cishek generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Steve Cishek generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-6%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-39%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-5%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-24%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .213 248 64 40 42 7 1 6
Since 2018vs Right .201 400 92 26 72 12 3 10
2020vs Left .194 40 13 6 6 3 0 0
2020vs Right .319 53 8 3 15 2 0 4
2019vs Left .216 109 26 16 19 2 0 4
2019vs Right .206 158 31 13 29 4 0 3
2018vs Left .218 99 25 18 17 2 1 2
2018vs Right .165 189 53 10 28 6 3 3
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-17%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-59%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-9%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-10%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 3.18 1.16 79.1 5 2 6 9.2 3.3 1.5
Since 2018Away 2.64 1.17 75.0 3 7 5 9.0 4.4 0.4
2020Home 8.00 1.44 9.0 0 0 0 8.0 3.0 3.0
2020Away 3.27 1.55 11.0 0 0 0 10.6 4.9 0.8
2019Home 2.83 1.06 35.0 3 2 3 9.0 2.8 1.5
2019Away 3.10 1.38 29.0 1 4 4 6.8 5.6 0.3
2018Home 2.29 1.19 35.1 2 0 3 9.7 3.8 1.0
2018Away 2.06 0.89 35.0 2 3 1 10.3 3.3 0.3
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Steve Cishek compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.33
 
K/9
9.5
 
BB/9
4.1
 
HR/9
1.8
 
Fastball
90.4 mph
 
ERA
5.40
 
WHIP
1.50
 
BABIP
.324
 
GB/FB
0.79
 
Left On Base
73.8%
 
Exit Velocity
82.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
8.9%
 
Spin Rate
2323 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
30.7%
 
Swinging Strike
10.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Steve Cishek
Bernie on the Scene: American League Trade Chips
38 days ago
With the trade deadline approaching, Bernie Pleskoff looks at what American League teams have to offer, and what they need. Could George Springer get moved for pitching?
Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: White Sox at Tigers
50 days ago
Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Wednesday's White Sox at Tigers game for Dream11 contests.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
53 days ago
Erik Siegrist checks out the free-agent pool in the Junior Circuit and expects Jo Adell's prospect pedigree to draw a lot of FAAB dollars.
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
138 days ago
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
The Long Game: Potential AL Central Breakouts
174 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks over the AL Central for possible sleepers and thinks James Karinchak has the stuff to be Cleveland's next closer.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Cishek is coming off arguably his best year. His ratios were slightly lower in 2017, but last season, he appeared in a career-high 80 games, throwing a personal-best 70.1 innings while cranking his strikeout rate back over a batter an inning. Cishek's sidewinding delivery gives fits to right-handed batters, while his slider, thrown 13 mph slower than his fastball, keeps lefty swingers off balance. He can handle hitters from both sides of the plate with near equal aplomb. The Cubs used him in high-leverage scenarios, resulting in his logging 25 holds, tied for eighth most in the league, along with chipping in four saves. Cishek is slated to return to a similar role in 2019, making him one of the top options in leagues scoring holds. His ratio protection with decent whiffs and the occasional situational save put him in the mix in all formats.
Cishek's 2017 was delayed after he underwent hip labrum surgery involving a microfracture procedure in October 2016. After returning in mid-May, the side-winding righty spun a 3.15 ERA and 1.00 WHIP until the Mariners dealt Cishek to the Rays at the July trade deadline, marking his fifth organization since the start of 2015. Cishek was effective for the Rays over the final two months, sporting a 1.09 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 26 strikeouts in 24.2 frames. Though he's known for his ability to handle right-handers, Cishek can hold his own versus lefty swingers, so be can be used for multi-inning stints, as he was five times last season. Throwing nearly equal numbers of fastballs and sliders, Cishek relies on deception in lieu of velocity, inducing a lot of weak contact, mostly of the groundball variety. After signing with Cubs, Cishek is likely ticketed for setup duty, but he could plausibly work himself into the closer role, where he's had success in the past (73 saves with the Marlins from 2013-14).
On July 30, Cishek sat with 25 saves and a 2.74 ERA -- great numbers following a poor 2015 season. He brought his strikeout rate back up to the excellent levels of previous years and restored his control to spin his lowest ERA since 2013. Unfortunately, after Cishek endured a few bad games and a trip to the disabled list, Edwin Diaz took the closer job for the rest of the year. The M's will almost certainly stick with Diaz heading into 2017 especially after Cishek underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, which jeopardizes his availability for spring training and even Opening Day. Still, in deep fantasy drafts, it may not be a bad idea to use a throwaway pick on Cishek for at least helpful reliever stats -- and for the remote possibility that the talented but raw Diaz pitches himself out of closer opportunities.
Cishek was acquired in mid-July from Miami and provided another setup option out of the bullpen for the Cardinals. He only recorded one save with St. Louis as he mostly worked the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, posting a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 frames for the Cardinals while striking out 20 and walking 13. Despite posting a higher ERA in his three-plus months with Miami (4.50) his FIP indicated that he pitched almost a full run better prior to being traded (3.51 with MIA, 4.33 with STL). At 29, Cishek has recorded 95 career saves and his skills haven't changed all that much, so it makes sense that a team like the Mariners would want to give him a look in the closer role. The team also traded for veteran Joaquin Benoit from San Diego, but general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed in December that Cishek will open the season as the closer.
How does one of the most consistent relief pitchers in the league top his first full season as closer in which he converted 34-of-36 saves with a 2.33 ERA and 1.08 WHIP? By improving his strikeout rate during a stellar 2014 campaign. Cishek broke out in a big way in 2013, and continued to provide rock solid numbers in the back of the Marlins' bullpen -- 3.17 ERA, 1.21 WHIP with 39 saves in 43 chances -- over 65.1 innings in 2014. Despite posting an ERA over 3.00 for the first time in his career, Cishek also registered the lowest FIP (2.17) and xFIP (2.54) of his four seasons in the majors. The 28-year-old stopper leans heavily on a sinker-slider combination which has proven effective at producing swings and misses (30.6 K% in 2014) and generating plenty of groundballs (51.1 GB% for his career). Cishek will once-again be locked in at the back end of the Marlins’ bullpen and he remains one of the game’s most reliable closers.
Cishek hit a stride down the stretch last season following a shaky start that left him with a 5.40 ERA on May 18 (16 appearances). From that point on, however, the Marlins' stopper was among the most automatic relief arms in the game, allowing just eight earned runs over his final 53.0 innings pitched (1.36 ERA) and striking out over a batter per inning. All told, Cishek cashed in 34-of-36 save opportunities to go along with a sparkling 2.33 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Cishek bumped his strikeout rate up for a third straight season to a career best 26.3% in 2013 while also inducing groundballs at a 53.1% clip -- the second best rate among pitchers who recorded 20 or more saves. The 6-foot-6 righty capitalizes on a side-arm delivery to work with a 92-mph sinker that continues to get the job done in the ninth. Cishek will enter the season locked in at the back end of the Miami bullpen.
Though he didn't see back-to-back save chances until late July, Cishek took the Marlins' closer role and ran with it, converting 13-of-14 opportunities over the season's final three months. Overall, the side-arm slinging right-hander dominated to the tune of a 2.69 ERA while registering 9.6 K/9. Cishek's walk rate is a touch higher than you would like out of a ninth-inning reliever (4.1 BB/9) and it's also moving in the wrong direction (3.1 BB/9 in 2011); still, Cishek got the job done in the endgame role and with Heath Bell now out of the picture, he remains the favorite for saves in South Florida heading into 2013.
Cishek had a good spring training in 2011 and never looked back, finishing the year as the Marlins closer by default. He's got a solid, but not exceptional, fastball/slider combo, and that led to a strong 9.05 K/9IP over 45 appearances in the big leagues. Unfortunately for those who grabbed him as a potential cheap keeper and sources of saves, he should settle in as one of the Marlins' primary setup men with Heath Bell in town.
More Fantasy News
Cast off 40-man
PChicago White Sox  
September 24, 2020
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Knocked around in win
PChicago White Sox  
August 4, 2020
Cishek allowed a run on three hits and hit a batter over one inning in Monday's 6-4 win over the Brewers.
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Keeping arm in shape
PChicago White Sox  
April 17, 2020
Cishek is working out at home, using a mound he ordered, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
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Projected for 2020 bullpen
PChicago White Sox  
March 19, 2020
Cishek is projected for a spot in the White Sox's bullpen, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Reaches deal with White Sox
PChicago White Sox  
January 7, 2020
Cishek signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the White Sox on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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