Mariners Reliever Steve Cishek’s Road To Old Self Looking Good
By Adam Levi
Mariners reliever, Steve Cishek has been on the long road to recovery since he went under the knife to repair a torn labrum in his left hip back in October. A couple days ago he took another giant step closer to returning to his old form as he threw the ball for the first time on the mound since October 1st. All the signs since the surgery point to a return sometime early in the 2017 season.
When Cishek was operated on four months ago, the Mariners thought that that was the only injury in need of repair. Doctors also needed to do a microfracture surgery in that same area, which will require a slightly longer recuperating time than expected.
Nevertheless, Cishek’s recovery this offseason is best described in terms of Rudolph Zallinger’s, March of Progress.
Cishek was bedridden, then he hobbled around on crutches for a couple months, next he left his crutches and began to move freely, now we see him exerting more energy and force as he throws at spring camp. We can assume that the final frame of Cishek’s march will be the image of him celebrating a job well done on the mound in a real game.
When he first made it to spring camp on the nine days ago, Cishek was limited to weight and training rooms.
According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Cishek’s return has stirred the reliever’s emotions.
"“It was an exciting day for me, maybe not for the average person,” he said. “I felt good,” he said. “The first few throws were a little tentative. But once they told me to forget about it and pretend like nothing happened, it made it a little easier.”More from SoDo MojoMariners FA Target: Filling the Void in Left Field with Andrew BenintendiMariners FA target: Michael Brantley as a veteran batMariners Free Agent Target: Shortstop Dansby SwansonMariners News: Important to remember MLB Trades People, Not StocksMariners Free Agency Target: Going all-in for Trea Turner"
A few months back, I asked the question about what getting a good Cishek could look like in the middle of the Mariners bullpen now that Edwin Diaz is the team’s official closer.
His 2.81 ERA last season was .01 below his career ERA average, but if he can bring that down to his average from 2011-2013 when it was 2.54 or even his 2013 ERA of 2.33, the Mariners would be much happier with that.
On the flip side, if Cishek continues to improve on last year’s career-best figures in H/9 (6.2) and WHIP (1.012) and career-second-best numbers in SO/9 (10.7) and SO/BB (3.6) -his best in those categories both came in 2014- then the Mariners will be very pleased to have the towering 6’6″ right-hander back on the hill.
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We can only assume what the future will bring for Steve Cishek as he eagerly prepares for his 2017 Mariners debut, but we do know that so far his recovery is moving along smoothly. If his journey to normalcy continues at this rate, seeing a healthy Cishek on the hill in an MLB game isn’t too far away.