Eagle Profile: Steve Cishek - RHP - Florida Marlins

Eagle Profile: Steve Cishek - RHP - Florida Marlins

Cishek helped guide the Eagles to the 2007 SAC Tournament championship. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB draft and is currently playing with the Marlins. After being called up on May 24, Cishek set the Marlins record with 14 2/3 scoreless innings to begin his career. He has appeared in 15 games for Florida and has a 1.25 earned run average with 19 strikeouts and just four walks in 21 2/3 innings of work.

Why did you choose to play at Carson-Newman?
SC: I chose to play at C-N because I felt like I was at home the minute I walked in the place, and of all the schools I visited the coaches at C-N made it a point to tell me my education came before baseball. Also, when I first met coach Griffin, you could see in his eyes the passion and the drive for what he is doing.

What was your most memorable moment while playing at Carson-Newman?
SC: My most memorable moment would definitely be in 2007 when we had to win three games in one day to be conference champs. Our last two games we had to beat Tusculum, who was ranked in the top 10 or 15 in the nation, and we whipped them to be the champs! That's actually my favorite baseball memory in my life.

What advice would you give to the new players joining the Carson-Newman program?
SC: I would tell them to buy into the program. Freshmen that come in will not have experienced the work load they are about to dive into, but you need to buy into the program that coach Griffin has for the team because he is going to push you to the limit to make you a better ball player and how you handle it doesn't only affect yourself, it affects your teammates. The guys working around you are your family, your brothers. Every time you slack off you're hurting yourself and your teammates. Everyone I've seen that busts their butt and does all the little things with their best effort are the ones that improve themselves three times over (Langdon Potts, Matt Teague, Tyler Wynn, Nick Achberger, Mills Rogers, all are players among others that improved their game 300 percent)

What lessons have you learned from playing baseball?
SC: I don't even know where to begin. Baseball, especially playing at C-N, has taught me discipline and humility. If you're not disciplined in this game, you will not get very far. You have to hold yourself and your teammates accountable to be a winner. This game is also humbling because just when you think you're at your peak, it can all come crashing down after one pitch or swing. How you deal with that failure is what makes a player great. Same in life, how you deal with adversity is what marks you as a person. So being disciplined and humble is essential for facing these adversities.

How would you describe the experience of working your way up through the minor leagues to get to the majors?
SC: It's been amazing. It's kind of like college in terms of constantly being around your teammates and pulling together, but in the minors you learn that although it's a team effort, you kind of have to push yourself to get better because everyone is trying to make it to the big leagues. However, the best part of my professional baseball experience is the people you meet along the way. You meet some great guys that you move up each level with that you will be friends with for the rest of your life. I think sharing the drive to make it to the big leagues with these people make you that much closer because no one else knows how tough it is other than your friends playing alongside you.

What have you learned during your time in professional baseball?
SC: There are so many things really. Playing professional ball has made me mature a lot quicker because you have people to guide you along the way, but what you do on your own time and when no one is looking is the difference of staying at the same level, getting released, or moving up. I've also learned that if you are not humble in this sport, it will make you self-destruct. My season in Greensboro was a prime example. I got my butt kicked around and I did not handle it well all year. I thought coming out of C-N and after my first professional season in Jamestown I was un-touchable. I never, ever thought of myself like that before but for some reason thoughts like that crept in my head before the Greensboro season. Well God definitely humbled me that year because I got crushed all season. That was the turning point for me because it taught me to be humble no matter the circumstance, just be thankful for having a jersey on because no matter what happens on the field, Lord willing the sun will come up the next day.

What advice has the veterans in the Florida Marlins organization given you since being called up?
SC: They have helped me a lot. I mean, from the little things like what to do in the locker room, how much to pay or tip, etc. to mental focus and preparing yourself to pitch every day. With the new skipper taking over, Jack Mckeon, the bullpen pitchers have already told me to take it easy on the throwing program and even bull pen pitches. And sure enough they were right. We are warming up to go in the ball game every day, but most importantly to develop a routine to prepare your body and your mind to enter that ballgame feeling the same every day.

With this season being your second call up the the majors, has it been an easier transition this time around?
SC: Yes it has because I knew what to expect the second time around and I was a lot more comfortable with knowing what to do and what to expect, and I got to know the players, primarily the bullpen pitchers who end up being your new family out there.

What has been your most memorable moment during your time in the pros?
SC: Other than getting my first call-up, probably winning the Class AA Southern League Championship last year. That team was awesome and so much fun to be around. Being on that team made me realize how much fun baseball really is because I felt like I was in grade school going out to recess to play again.