Introducing… Randy Myers

A member of the famous Cincinnati Reds Nasty Boys bullpen, Myers was a stellar firemen throughout his career.  Still the single season saves leader for southpaws, Myers currently rests ninth all-time in career doors slammed.  A fine pitcher who missed his share of bats, Myers was at his most unhittable during the postseason.  He threw 31 career postseason innings and surrendered just 18 base hits.

A first round pick by the Mets in 1982, Myers was originally used as a starting pitcher in the bushes but when he neared the Majors, the Mets converted their former number 1 pick into a fireman.  If the Mets had anything in the 1980s they had plenty of pitching.  So the conversion of Myers to the bullpen didn’t hurt.  In fact, it helped them to secure leads late in games.  Myers debuted with the Mets in ’85 and made just ten appearances in their Championship ’86 season.  But after his bullpen conversion in Tidewater in ’86, Randy was summoned to the Big Apple to stay in 1987.

Myers joined the Mets bullpen in ’87 and set the league ablaze with his amazing, Dick Radatz-like strikeout ratio.  In 75 innings of work, the southpaw sat down 92 batters on strikes.  The Mets then gave Randy save opportunities in ’88 and he converted 26 of them.  His strikeout total fell from his rookie season but his peripherals were better.  His ERA fell from 3.96 to 1.72 and he had a terrific strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Randy fanned 69 batters while issuing just 17 walks.  His accuracy was spot-on in ’88 and so was his lumber-eluding capabilities.  He averaged a stingy 0.662 hits per inning.

For the third year in a row, Myers averaged a strikeout per inning in 1989.  But ’89 was his last year with the Mets.  After the season he was shipped to the Reds for New York mainstay John Franco.  Both teams made out well as Randy went to Ohio and nailed down 31 saves on a 2.08 ERA in the Nasty Boys bullpen.  The Reds went to the World Series in 1990 and Myers helped them take the title by pitching three scoreless innings in the Fall Classic.

After a failed conversion to the rotation in 1991 the Reds traded Myers to the Padres for supersub Bip Roberts.  The Friars knew what was best for Randy and employed him as their closer where he converted 38 saves.  But Myers was a one-year rental for the San Diego club as he left the Padres and signed a free agent deal with the Cubs.  His first year in Wrigley, Randy set the still-standing record for southpaws of 53 saves in a single season–which was the top total in the National league that year.

After the strike shortened 1994 campaign, Myers again led the National League in saves in 1995.  Much like he had done over the course of his career, Randy again averaged a strikeout per inning.  He tested the free agent waters again after the ’95 season and joined the American League for the first time in 1996 when he cast his lot with the Orioles of Baltimore.  His second year with the Orioles, 1997, he posted his career highwater mark of 1.51 ERA.  For the third time in his career he led the league in saves and he made his fourth and final All-Star Squad.  More importantly, the Orioles went to the postseason and he fanned five batters in just two Division Series innings.

The Blue Jays signed him to a free agent contract for the 1998 season.  He saved 28 games for Toronto during the season but in the latter stages of the campaign he was traded to the Padres for a minor leaguer.  The Padres used Randy with Dan Miceli and Donne Wall as setupmen for the great closer Trevor Hoffman.  The Friars went to the World Series in 1998, Randy’s last season, and used him in three Fall Classic games against the Yankees–the eventual World Champs.

THE NUMBERS

W 44/L 63/PCT .411/SV 347/G 728/IP 885/H 758/BB 396/SO 884/ERA 3.19

www.bleedcubbieblue.com

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1 comment
  1. brettkiser said:

    Myers’ best chance for enshrinement would be now but he isn’t on the Writer’s Ballot and will eventually be passed over on the career saves ladder. I don’t think Myers is a strong HOF candidate mainly because he was one of the guys that started the one-inning closer role, which many firemen before him scoff at.

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