Myers shows off pitcher's arm in RF as clutch throw sets up Miami rally

June 8th, 2024

MIAMI -- When , the pitcher, was at his best, he maxed out at 95 mph. During his last professional season on the mound, he was down to 86 mph.

Five years later, Myers, the Marlins' right fielder, uncorked a 90.2 mph throw that sparked Friday night's 3-2 comeback win over the Guardians at loanDepot park. With the victory, Miami snapped its four-game skid.

"Hearing it was 90 is a little bit of a disappointment though, honestly," Myers said with a smile.

With the score tied at 2 in the eighth, pinch-hitter Daniel Schneemann led off the frame with a triple when a leaping Jazz Chisholm Jr. could not snag the fly ball and collided with the wall.

Brayan Rocchio followed by sending a pitch from right-hander Calvin Faucher 264 feet to left field, where Bryan De La Cruz fired home with a 93 mph throw to keep Schneemann at third. According to Baseball Savant, the 255-260-foot range is when runners start to attempt to score on a more frequent basis.

Cleveland respected the arm of De La Cruz, who leads the Marlins in outfield assists (three) and whose arm strength (88.9 mph) ranks in the 81st percentile despite splitting time between left and designated hitter.

After Faucher walked Tyler Freeman, closer Tanner Scott entered to face MLB RBI leader José Ramírez. Scott hung a slider that Ramírez sliced 264 feet to right field, where Myers raced to his left. He didn't have time to camp under it, instead catching the ball above his head while still in motion.

Myers then perfectly one-hopped a throw to catcher Nick Fortes, who applied the tag on Schneemann for the final out of the inning. Schneemann had a sprint speed of 28.9 ft/sec -- his fastest of the season -- on the play. MLB average is 27 ft/sec and elite is 30 ft/sec.

"That's a huge play," manager Skip Schumaker said. "It had to be right there, or he's safe. That kid can run. Ramírez hit it -- I thought when he hit it, far enough, right away -- it kept kind of fading towards the line, too, and when the ball fades, when you're a right-handed thrower, it's really hard to get your body in line to throw. Luckily, he was a former pitcher and he's got a good arm and put it right on the money and yes, it was an excellent play."

It marked the second-fastest outfield assist by a Marlin and only the second outfield assist by a Miami right fielder this season. For Myers, it was the fastest assist of his Major League career and the third-fastest of his pro career.

"I'm very impressed with those guys," said Chisholm, who would drive in the decisive run with a two-out single in the eighth. "They did a great job, especially De La. He went after that ball and when I saw the guy tagging, I thought he was actually going to go on De La's instead of Dane's, because we all know Dane used to be a pitcher, so I wouldn't run on him.

"I run against the guy that's been a position player more. But they made great plays, especially after I hit that wall. Every ball that was hit, they were just like, 'Hey, if you need me to get it and make the throw, I got it.' They really took over in that aspect, and I'm very proud of them."

A play like that only happens if there's a combination of velocity and accuracy on the throw, per Schumaker. Myers credited his pre-pitch preparation -- everything from knowing what to do with the ball with men on base to the runner's speed.

With limited outfield experience, Myers got extra reps in the Dominican Republic Winter League to make plays like this one. Miami hopes there will be more of them.

The right-handed-hitting Myers, who is in a right-field platoon with left-handed-hitting Jesús Sánchez, took over in that role once veteran Avisaíl García landed on the injured list with a left hamstring strain on April 28. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

While Myers' teammates -- and even Schumaker -- cheered from the dugout and field on his second career outfield assist in MLB, he went down to his knees, raised his arms above his head and looked upward.

"Just thanking God," said Myers, hitless in three at-bats. "I had a tough day at the plate. Kind of unlucky. Felt like myself again at the plate. Squared three balls up I felt like but didn't have anything to show for it. But like I said when I first got here, I just want to help the team win however I can, and defensively, that's how it was tonight."