As Kyle Farnsworth allowed his 15th homer of the year, I was curious as to whether he was chasing any kind of history. After all, 15 homers in less than 60 innings seems like kind of a lot. Over 200 innings that would be 50 homers. It turns out that Farnsworth isn’t even close to setting the record for pitchers who were used exclusively as relievers.
That distinction belongs to John Wyatt who allowed 23 in 1964 out of the pen. It’s worth noting though that Wyatt threw 128 innings that year.
But what about the modern day reliever, you know, the guys who throw less than 100 innings a year? That honor goes to Gabe White who surrendered 18 dingers in 2001. He’s followed by a handful of guys who are tied with 17, including 2 other Tigers seasons.
Doug Bochtler allowed 17 in 1998 and Joe Boever did the same in 1995. I honestly have no recollection of Doug Bochtler whatsoever. Not just this accomplishment, but the fact he played major league baseball period.
Aurelio Lopez cracks the list when he allowed 16 homers during the 1984 season. Lopez pitched a remarkable 137 innings that year with a 2.94 ERA.
Oh yeah, back to Farnsworth. He’s at 15 and there’s still 2 weeks of baseball left. The thing is, he’s battling 2 other AL relievers. Justin Speier and Joel Peralta are in a 3 way battle. Peralta is “winning” having done it in only 50.2 innings.
In a coincidental twist, Roberto Novoa allowed 15 homers in 2006. Novoa was one of the players the Tigers sent to the Cubs to acquire Farnsworth before the 2005 season.