Cishek was the winning pitcher on Opening Day against the Marlins, giving up a hit and a walk over 1.2 scoreless innings. He struck out two. Cishek made his Cubs debut earlier than anticipated, as he came on for an ineffective Jon Lester in the fourth inning. He got the final two outs in that frame, then worked through the fifth. Cishek has ample closing experience and could get some save opportunities when Brandon Morrow needs a day off, but manager Joe Maddon showed Thursday that he's willing to use the veteran early in games if necessary.
Cishek could pick up occasional save opportunities on days when closer Brandon Morrow needs rest this season, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Cubs manager Joe Maddon identified both Cishek and Justin Wilson as options to spell Morrow when needed. Cishek has 121 career saves, so it makes sense that he'd get some looks in the ninth. If Morrow falters or goes down with injury, Cishek could find himself as the primary end-game option after posting a strong 2.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP a season ago.
Cishek has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cubs, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Cishek started his age-31 season with the Mariners, but was shipped to Tampa Bay in a July trade. Since landing on the Rays, the reliever was marvelous, sporting a 1.09 ERA across 24.2 innings. His strikeout rate also climbed a bit up to 9.5 K/9, which is right in line with his career average. As long as the physical checks out, Cishek will join the late-inning mix in Chicago. Brandon Morrow is the current favorite to enter the year as the closer, but Carl Edwards also looms as a worthwhile option late in games, and the Cubs are reportedly still in on potentially bringing Wade Davis back at the right price.
Cishek notched his 14th hold in Friday's 13-6 extra-inning loss to the Red Sox, firing a clean seventh inning. Along with fellow veteran and former closer Sergio Romo, Cishek has brought veteran stability to the bullpen as a setup option, posting scoreless efforts in all but one of his 22 appearances. Cishek has also racked up eight holds and a pair of victories over that stretch, making him an appealing option in AL-only and deeper mixed formats that count holds.
Cishek (3-1) fired a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in Thursday's 2-0 win over the Blue Jays, issuing one walk. Cishek's ERA is unblemished since joining the Rays, as he's now posted 12 consecutive scoreless efforts. The veteran reliever also has a 12:4 K:BB in 11.2 innings over that span, picking up two wins and three holds while lowering his ERA from 3.15 to 1.99.