Most homers allowed by a reliever

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.

16 thoughts on “Most homers allowed by a reliever”

  1. Kyle Farnsworthless.

    Next year will be pitching for someone else in late innings next year….. Hopefully the Tigers will face him more than a few times. It sure would be nice to see him in the White Sox roster.

  2. One of my friends was a Joe Boever fan…still throws the palmball durng warmups for softball games. LOL! (Incidentally…it doesn’t work so good for him either.)

  3. I have no idea how any of those other relief pitchers mentioned made their way to their respective teams.

    But I’m going to guess it did NOT involve a straight-up trade for a hall-of-fame catcher.

  4. No fan of Farnsworth, but Pudge was not a “hall-of-fame” caliber catcher at the time of trade. Pudge was not going to be a Tiger in ’09; the bullpen was in dire straits. DD made a move to try to improve.

  5. “DD made a move to try to improve.” (rhymes!)

    Yes. Too bad about the results (Farnsworth’s performance), but I’m not second-guessing the trade.

  6. Farnsworth is just another victim in the Tigers pen. Nobody on this team has been mentally prepared to pitch in the late innings. IMO, these pitchers fear to be the next Grilli or Todd Jones and that’s what’s keeping them from excelling in pressure situations. Call it a loser mentality if you like.

    We got the arms that could make a very good bullpen. They just haven’t had the confidence and mentality that they need. Winning and success is about the only thing that can help fix their fractured ego’s.

  7. “We got the arms that could make a very good bullpen.”

    That’s true. A total bullpen overhaul won’t necessarily solve anything. Gotta guess who to hold and who to fold.

    I’m not sure Kyle Farnsworth really wants to be a Detroit Tiger. I can’t say how that would affect a guy’s performance. I still assume – perhaps naively – that players at the MLB level are almost always playing to win no matter what.

  8. I am second guessing the trade, Pudge the catcher was an asset to the team and the pitching staff, not to mention the face of the franchise since the Tiger’s rise to respectability, to dump him for Farnsworth was a bad move. DD is a good GM, but this was a bad move IMO.

    Losing Pudge wasn’t the only problem, but the Tiger’s downward spiral accelerated noticeably after Pudge’s departure. Even if Pudge leaves anyway in 2009, its still bad, you’ve GOT to demand more to let someone with his track record go. In my opinion they just gave him away. If they’d kept him they would at least have gotten some sort of compensation for him leaving. Instead, in return for Pudge, they received the last few nails in the coffin for the 2008 season. That’s not a good return. And no, it’s not surprising that Farnsy has pitched like this.

  9. Pudge made the trade happen!!!
    He was complaining about losing playing time to Inge, plus he had a no trade clause. It was a deal just to satisfy Pudge and both teams. There really were no winners. Pudge failed, the Yankees failed, Farnsworth failed, and the Tigers failed.

    If Farnsworth stepped in and did what he did a few years ago when he was with the Tigers, then this wouldn’t even be a conversation.

  10. Chief – yes, I know Pudge ‘made’ the trade happen. That’s part of the problem, the inmates are running this asylum. They’re way to coddled IMO. What Pudge wants shouldn’t be DD’s top priority, it should be what’s best for the organization. Putting Pudge’s demand above all else is a huge red flag in my opinion. Giving Pudge away for a washed up has-been that’s no longer on illegal performance enhancers, and was inconsistent even when he was on them, that’s not a good move.

    It was a low % play and its no surprise it didn’t work out.

  11. “a washed up has-been that’s no longer on illegal performance enhancers, and was inconsistent even when he was on them”

    Hmmm. Are you describing Farnsworth or Pudge here, Greg?

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