Cishek making a name for himself with Marlins

Cishek making a name for himself with Marlins

SAN FRANCISCO -- All the taunting and ribbing doesn't bother Steve Cishek. The 25-year-old Marlins reliever, with his deceptive delivery and hard name to pronounce, has pretty much heard it all.

Cishek (pronounced SEE-shek) often hears people butcher his name. A rangy, 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, many of his friends just call him Shrek.

In time, Cishek likely will become more known. Miami fans certainly are aware of the right-hander, who is in his second big league season. As his career progresses, he has the type of talent to become a popular household name.

Cishek made a key appearance Wednesday night, throwing two scoreless innings in relief of Heath Bell at AT&T Park. The sidearm-throwing right-hander was credited with the victory in Miami's 3-2 win over the Giants in 10 innings.

A fifth-round pick in 2007 from Falmouth, Mass., Cishek heard his share of heckling Wednesday night as he warmed up in the bullpen.

"They just try to wear me out and call me various names," Cishek said. "It's funny. It's fun. You name it, they said it. Whatever you can imagine, go ahead.

"But I don't let that stuff bother me. They are just trying to have a good time. They deserve to. It actually gets you going a little bit more. It's freezing out there, and it warms up you a little more."

Cishek's numbers and pure stuff give the Marlins reason to believe he can handle any role, even though he has just 60 games of big league experience.

"I said last week, the guy who impressed me most on the Miami Marlins all year long was him. Since Spring Training," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "This kid has got a chance to be a good one."

In 12 appearances, Cishek is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

"I don't think he's even touched the iceberg in how good he can get," catcher John Buck said. "It's the deceptiveness. It's the not very common arm angle -- ankles and elbows going everywhere. He's going from the side and the way he kind of jumps out at you."

The deceptive movement of Cishek's pitches makes him especially difficult on right-handed hitters. He's got a nasty sinker, and his fastball sneaks in on hitters.

"And he has a slider that he really spreads the plate with it. It's hard when he's throwing 95 and has a high 80s slider. For a hitter, it's tough to cover both."