Steve Cishek’s run as the Marlins’ closer is over–or at the very least, on hold–after back-to-back ugly blown saves Sunday and Monday.
Cishek has blown four saves and converted three saves this season while posting a 10.32 ERA in 13 appearances, and manager Mike Redmond has seen enough to start mixing in other options for the ninth inning:
Shrek [Cishek] has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games. It’s tough to win in the big leagues, and when you get late leads, you’ve got to be able to lock them down.
For now Redmond said he plans to “mix and match” in the ninth inning, which likely means some combination of A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, and Mike Dunn.
There’s no getting around how awful Cishek has been this season, but he converted 39 of 43 save chances last season and came into this year with a career ERA of 2.98 in 269 innings.
UPDATE: Miami has “expressed interest” in veteran closer Rafael Soriano.
Right-hander Bryan Morris has been ridiculously good for the Marlins since they acquired him from the Pirates for a draft pick in June, posting a 0.48 ERA in 38 innings. But now he’s hurt.
Morris complained of right hip soreness yesterday and left the Marlins to return to Miami and be examined by team doctors.
So far no disabled list move has been made for the 27-year-old reliever and president of baseball operations Michael Hill told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald “at the moment, I don’t think it’s anything major.”
Last month Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Marlins almost traded for A’s reliever Jim Johnson before instead swinging a deal for Pirates reliever Bryan Morris. But apparently Miami is still interested in Johnson.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes that the A’s have talked to the Marlins about trading Johnson and potentially getting back minor leaguer Adam Conley, a 2011 second-round draft pick with a 6.00 ERA at Triple-A.
Oakland’s move to acquire Johnson and his $10 million salary from Baltimore never made a ton of sense this offseason and it’s worked out much worse than expected, as he almost immediately lost the closer gig and has a 6.25 ERA with 23 walks in 40 innings.
He saved 50-plus games in both 2012 and 2013, so as bad as Johnson has looked this season he’s a reasonable enough buy-low bounceback target for the Marlins and perhaps a league switch could help him out with two months remaining until free agency.
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Worth remembering the next time you hear Bob Melvin saying how much confidence he has in Jim Johnson. From Ken Rosenthal:
The Marlins, before acquiring right-hander Bryan Morris from the Pirates on Sunday, made the Athletics a trade offer for righty Jim Johnson, according to major-league sources.
The Athletics were willing to make the deal – Johnson and cash for the No. 39 pick and another player – but the Marlins instead used the pick to land Morris, sources said.
They were willing to send a decent amount of cash to Miami in the deal as well.
The Marlins were apparently the ones who started the conversation so it’s not like the A’s were actively shopping Johnson. But it sounds like they would’ve shipped him off if Miami followed through.
Per the Pirates official Twitter, the club has picked up Wirfin Obispo off of waivers from the Braves and assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Braves had designated Obispo for assignment yesterday, creating room for Shae Simmons on the roster.
Obispo, 29, posted a 4.66 ERA with a 21/12 K/BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett. While the Pirates may not use Obispo in the majors right away, he’ll serve as bullpen depth for the club after they traded Bryan Morris to the Marlins earlier today.