Cishek was released by the White Sox on Monday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports. 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.
Cishek was designated for assignment Thursday. The White Sox activated a pair of hurlers (Carlos Rodon, Aaron Bummer) from the 45-day injured list and needed to clear a couple 40-man roster spots in the process. Cishek logged a 5.40 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 20 innings this season.
Cishek allowed a run on three hits and hit a batter over one inning in Monday's 6-4 win over the Brewers. Cishek entered in the fifth inning with the White Sox holding a lead and allowed two inherited runners to score, then a run of his own an inning later. He's given up runs in three of five appearances and has a 6.75 ERA.
Cishek is working out at home, using a mound he ordered, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports. Cishek is also wearing a Motus sleeve, a device designed to monitor the workload of his arm. Like most pitchers during the delay in MLB, Cishek is trying to keep his arm in shape, but he will need a ramp-up when baseball eventually begins. "I'm trying to keep it at a certain level so I can maintain. That way when spring training comes around, I'm not getting crushed. I think once things ramp up, I'm going to definitely start linking up with catchers and throwing off the mound." He will be the right-handed component of the setup crew, along with lefty Aaron Bummer, who will be the bridge to closer Alex Colome.
Cishek is projected for a spot in the White Sox's bullpen, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports. This comes as no surprise. The White Sox inked the 33-year-old right-hander after he posted a fourth consecutive season with an ERA under three. It's just a matter of where he slots in among the late-inning crew. He was one of several offseason acquisitions to shine in spring training, striking out five over four scoreless innings. Cishek and Aaron Bummer will be the seventh and eighth inning bridges to closer Alex Colome. They are also next in line should Colome stumble.
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