Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cishek Brings Versatility to Bullpen

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cishek Brings Versatility to Bullpen

Article excerpt

Randy Choate doesn't always send text messages to Steve Cishek. But when the Cardinals pass through Miami, he makes a point to chat with the 29-year-old reliever.

Choate and Cishek were bullpen teammates during Choate's lone season in Miami in 2012. For the two years after Choate left, Cishek dominated the closer role, accumulating 34 saves in 2013 and 39 in 2014.

But in 2015, Cishek has accumulated a 2-6 record with a 4.50 earned-run average.

"I think it was a trying time for him to go down," Choate said.

But in his last 13 appearances, Cishek owned a 0.71 ERA, and he hasn't allowed an earned run since June 25. He got his stuff right, Choate says.

And just as Cishek is picking himself back up, he will join the Cardinals on Saturday after being traded to St. Louis in exchange for Class AA Springfield pitcher Kyle Barraclough.

And while relievers Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist each tossed a scoreless inning in the Cardinals' 4-2 win to support rookie Tim Cooney in his first major-league win Friday night, the Cardinals couldn't be more eager to have Cishek at this point in the season.

"It gives you a veteran guy who you know you can rely on, who has shown the past 3-4 years he can go a bunch of innings, but not many appearances and kind of take the workload off a couple of those guys," Choate said.

It just made sense for the Cardinals to add another late-inning weapon. Veteran pitcher Matt Belisle was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Eighth-inning setup man Jordan Walden still has another week or so to go while rehabbing his bicep.

Plus, there are always concerns about how many innings some of the Cardinal relievers are getting. Siegrist has pitched 44 1/3 innings this season. Maness has totaled 39.

And then there's closer Trevor Rosenthal, who pitched three straight days earlier this week, including Thursday's game against Kansas City in which other relievers rested after heavy workloads.

Adding Cishek gives the Cardinals a buffer, Maness said. …

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