04/29/2013 6:39 PM ET
Focused on his execution, Cishek battling on
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- There really is no mystery to what Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek is focused on to become a lock-down closer.
Keep the ball down.
"If there is anything I really need to work on is getting that fastball down," Cishek said on Monday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Cishek had a discussion with manager Mike Redmond about executing better.
"I had a good talk with Red earlier, and I'm just going to keep battling and doing what I do best," Cishek said.
It's been a rocky start to the season for the Marlins, and Cishek has also had his moments. On Sunday, he closed out the ninth inning for his second save in a 6-4 win over the Cubs. But in the ninth, Dioner Navarro homered.
In the first game of the series with Chicago, on Thursday, Luis Valbuena homered off Cishek in the ninth inning, delivering the game-winning hit.
"The mistakes, I'm just not getting away with them right now," the right-hander said. "That's part of the game. It's the ninth inning, everyone is dialed in. I'm learning that part also. Keeping the ball down is what I'm mostly trying to focus on."
Cishek entered the series with the Mets posting a 1-3 record with a 5.73 ERA, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in 11 innings with 11 strikeouts.
In 2012, Cishek was the Marlins' top reliever, and he enjoyed a strong April, going 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA with nine strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings.
The most encouraging news for Cishek on Sunday was the effectiveness of his slider.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball really well," he said. "I just made a couple of mistakes that got hit out of the park. I'm not getting away with those mistakes pitches. Mentally, everything feels really good.
"I had a good feel for my slider [Sunday], for really the first time this year. I'm just going to build off it."
Personal preference of no concern to Redmond
MIAMI -- NBA free agent Jason Collins' admission that he is gay has raised the issue of sexual preference in professional sports.
Collins on Monday became the first active male athlete in a major team sport in the United States to declare he is gay. The 12-year NBA veteran made the announcement in Sports Illustrated.
"I think his preference is his preference," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "What I focus on is what kind of teammate he is and what he does on the field. As a manager, that's the only thing I'm concerned about."
A number of Marlins players declined to address Collins or the topic of how Major League Baseball would deal with a similar situation.
Miami pitcher Kevin Slowey pointed out sports also can reflect society in general.
"Certainly, the landscape has changed over the last 10 years," Slowey said. "I think anybody would be foolish to think that it wouldn't continue to change. That's the beauty of the game, it mirrors society at large. You get to evolve as society does. You don't really find yourself stuck in one place."
Redmond stressed that the bottom line for any athlete is performance and how the player conducts himself.
"Everyone is just concerned about what he does on the field," Redmond said. "What type of player they are, and what type of teammate they are. I think that's what is important about them as a player or a person."
LoMo teams with American Lung Association
MIAMI -- Logan Morrison is backing another project aimed at combating lung cancer.
In partnership with the American Lung Association, Morrison has launched Project LoMo, a call-to-action campaign for children to make a difference in their communities.
Morrison, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a right knee injury, will be promoting the campaign on Wednesday at Miami Senior High School at 2:45 p.m. ET.
To Morrison, the cause is personal. In 2010, the Marlins first baseman lost his father, Tom, to lung cancer.
"After my father lost his battle with lung cancer, I felt like it was my responsibility to do everything I could to raise awareness for the disease," Morrison said. "With this campaign, I want kids to understand that they, too, can make a difference. I want to empower them to start thinking outside of the box and realize that they can spark social change. Young fans who carry out a project will also generate contributions for the American Lung Association. It's a great campaign, and I'm excited to review all the submissions."
Project LoMo is calling for individuals or teams to complete their initiative and send to Morrison -- via video, email or letter. Each authentic submission will receive an autographed photo, an officially licensed T-shirt jersey, and will also result in a $100 donation to the American Lung Association on behalf of the LoMo Lung Fund.
For more information, visit http://projectlomo.mlblogs.com.
• First baseman Joe Mahoney has a tight right hamstring, and he is listed as day to day. Greg Dobbs started at first base on Monday night.
• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is beginning rehab games in Jupiter, Fla. The 24-year-old is eligible to be reinstated on Thursday at Philadelphia, but the weather in Jupiter has been rainy. If the team feels Hechavarria needs a few extra days to get his timing down, he could be joining the team in Philadelphia later in the week.