Cardinals “looking at” former Marlins closer Steve Cishek

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Mat Latos and Dan Haren are drawing most of the discussion on the Marlins’ trade block, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald notes that right-handed reliever Steve Cishek could also be on the move ahead of the July 31 deadline. And the National League Central-leading Cardinals are interested.

Cishek owns a rough-looking 4.65 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 31 total innings this season and he was stripped of closer duties in May, but the 29-year-old has registered a promising 0.77 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 frames since returning June 12 from a short demotion to Double-A Jacksonville.

Cishek, who saved 39 games for the Marlins in 2014 and 34 in 2013, is making $6.65 million this year in his second turn through salary arbitration. He carries two more seasons of arbitration eligibility.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.