Seattle Mariners rumors about Steve Cishek have surfaced after he blew another save. The Mariners handed Cishek a ninth-inning lead on Saturday, May 14, only to see the closer give up a three-run homer to Albert Pujols. The Los Angeles Angels would win the game 9-7, handing Cishek his second blown save in as many nights. It's possible that the Mariners' closer situation could have to be addressed in the near future.
On the whole, Steve Cishek has put up some pretty good numbers for the Mariners, as he currently holds a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Cishek has appeared in 18 games so far, pitching 20 1/3 innings and converting 11-of-14 save opportunities. With the recent blown saves coming in dramatic fashion and on back-to-back days, it has created a lot of negative buzz for Cishek on social media. Some Mariners fans are already comparing him to Fernando Rodney and the meltdown Rodney had as a former closer for the team.
Some of the Seattle Mariners rumors may have been addressed in a post-game interview that manager Scott Servais gave to the press corps. When asked about Joel Peralta and Steve Cishek struggling with their command for the second-consecutive night, Servais instead talked about the Angels having a good ball club and coming through with some key hits. He also noted that over the course of a season the team is going to blow a save or two. He simply said "that's baseball."
In regard to questions about Cishek remaining the closer of the Mariners, Servais stated that, "we got a game tomorrow, we got to line up to play, if we get in the right spots those guys will get the ball." When pressed further about Cishek, Servais noted that he was having problems with his location, and that he would have to work on it. There was no indication that Cishek would be close to losing his job in the ninth-inning, no matter what some of the Seattle Mariners rumors might be claiming.
An important note, is that Steve Cishek threw 31 pitches on Saturday night after throwing 24 pitches on Friday night. That's a lot of work for a closer, suggesting that he could get the day off on Sunday, May 15. It that's the case, Scott Servais may need to turn to another arm in the ninth-inning. The easy answer to that question is Nick Vincent, as he has a lot of late-inning experience dating back to his time with the San Diego Padres. Vincent also sat out Saturday's game, leaving him rested for Sunday.
So far in the 2016 MLB season, Nick Vincent has appeared in 16 games for the Seattle Mariners. He has a 1.80 ERA, a 0.733 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts over 15 innings of work. Vincent has been very good out of the bullpen, even though he does have a blown save on his stat sheet this year. With the bullpen seeing a lot of work over the past few days, he seems like an obvious choice to get the save opportunity should the Mariners be ahead in the ninth inning again on Sunday.
While it seems that Steve Cishek still has the full support of manager Scott Servais, the Mariners do have some additional options for save opportunities. When Tyler Zych and Joaquin Benoit return from the disabled list, the relievers could get a shot if Cishek continues to struggle. Nick Vincent could also take over as the closer if he continues to pitch well. For now, any Seattle Mariners rumors about replacing Cishek deem to be defunct. Change could come quickly if he blows another save, though, as the team is contending for a spot in the 2016 MLB Playoffs now.
[Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]