After programming the numbers into our classic calculator, the output gives us Matt Jacob Miller. The Leland, MS native attended Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi that is. But neither his high school nor college numbers generated much attention as he was bypassed in the amateur drafts. In 1996 as a 24 year old, Miller signed with the Greenville (MS) Bluesman in the Independent Big South League. He was fairly terrible that first season, 6.07 ERA, 1.823 WHIP and 7.0 K/9 in 69.2 IP. But 1997 was a much better year in Greenville, 2.26 ERA, 1.165 WHIP and 10.8 K/9. This earned him a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers for spring training in 1998.
He didn’t make the team, was released and returned to Greenville again. But in June, the Rangers purchased his contract and he played for the Savannah Sand Gnats (South Atlantic-A) and was pretty dominant (2.29 ERA, 0.991 WHIP, 11.7 WHIP, 35.1 IP), albeit as a 26 year old. He split 1999 with the Charlotte Rangers (Florida-A+) and Tulsa Drillers (Texas-AA). In 2000 he split between Tulsa and the Oklahoma Red Hawks (PCL-AAA) before being granted his release.
The next three years would also be spent in the Pacific Coast League as well, but he bounced from the Portland Beavers (Padres) to the Sacramento River Cats (A’s) and to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies) before finally getting the call to the show midseason 2003 for the Rockies as a 30 year old. But he was not retained that offseason and Shapiro signed him in February 2004. After a short stay in Buffalo, he arrived in Cleveland in May and finished that season with a 3.09 ERA (142 ERA+) 1.175 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 in 55.1 IP.
He was dominant in his limited 2005 season (1.82 ERA in 29.2 IP) but was injured most of the season making 10 appearances in Akron and Buffalo. He was also injured much of 2006 with 14 appearances in Cleveland and 3 more in Buffalo and Akron. And in 2007, he finally got back into the groove with a 2.89 ERA and 8.7 K/9 for Buffalo in 37.1 IP, but only got 2 appearances in Cleveland. He was released that offseason, and signed with the Red Sox the following spring. In May, the Pirates acquired him in a conditional deal and he spent all season with their AAA affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians before retiring at 36.
Miller finished his Cleveland career with a 6-1 record, 2.74 ERA (160 ERA+), 1.170 WHIP and 8.0 K/9 in 101.2 IP in 96 appearances.
As only five players have donned the uniform 60, the computations are not all that simple. Only one player had a better than league average stat, albeit for only 12 innings. So, by default, the reigning best #60 is Brian Curtis Tallet for his 2 starts in 2002. Tallet was a popular guy in the draft; he was drafted four separate times. Initially in the 14th round by the Marlins in 1996 after graduating from Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, by the Yankees in the 13th round in 1997 at Hill College in Hillsboro, TX, the 19th round by the Pirates in 1999 from Louisiana State University, and finally by the Tribe in the 2nd round in 2000 after LSU won the College World Series.
He made 6 starts for Mahoning Valley (A-) after signing, but only averaged just under 3 innings per start, but had a 1.15 ERA, 0.830 WHIP and 11.5 K/9 in those 15.2 innings. He jumped an extra level to Kinston (A+) in 2001 and had a 3.04 ERA, 1.075 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 in 160 IP while starting 27 games. He continued his ascent in 2002, making 16 starts in Akron (AA) another 7 in Buffalo (AAA) and finally two auspicious starts for Cleveland in Boston and Minnesota, compiling a 1.50 ERA (300 ERA+), 1.083 WHIP, and 3.8 K/9 in 12 innings. In 2003, he opened in Buffalo, made 5 appearances mid-season, but had switched to #30. He was shut down that season for Tommy John surgery in August. He did make 23 appearances in the minors in 2004 and then another 22 in Buffalo in 2005 before getting 2 relief appearances in August.
In January 2006 he was dealt to the Blue Jays for Bubbie Buzachero. Tallet would go on to make 215 appearances for the Blue Jays over the next 6 seasons before heading to the Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus deal in July 2011. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent in 2012 and was promptly traded to the Padres and had 11 appearances with their AAA affiliate, the Tuscon Padres before getting released in May.
*The Babylonian number system used a base of sixty, which was inherited from the Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations. This is most likely motivated by the large number of divisors sixty has (12).
A Brief History
The current IP leader for #59 is Albie Lopez, who generated a 78 ERA+ in 228.1 IP from 1993 to 1997. If Carlos Carrasco ever returns from his TJ surgery in the #59 jersey, he should surpass Lopez as he already has 191.2 IP.
Interestingly enough, the number 60 is not dominated by pitchers like most of the 40s and 50s jerseys. Kane Davis and Brian Tallet had 11 and 12 IP respectively. Rod Allen only had 11 PA, but Bill Selby got 48 PA and Jhonny Peralta had 270 PA before switching to #16 in 2004 and then #2 in 2005, giving the hitters their first majority in a long while.
The One Year Wonders
Kevin Bearse, Mark Watson, Alan Newman, Alex Herrera, Guillermo Mota, Jonathan Meloan, and Winston Abreu all wore uniform #59 for only one season. Rod Allen, Bill Selby, Kane Davis, Brian Tallet and Jhonny Peralta all wore uniform #60 for only one season.
The All-Time List - 59
Kevin Bearse SP (1990) 0-2, 3 G, 3 GS, 12.91 ERA, 7.2 IP, 32 ERA+; claimed on waivers by Expos
Alan Newman RP (2000) 0-0, 1 G, 0 GS, 20.25 ERA, 1.1 IP, 30 ERA+
Jason C Phillips RP (2002-2003) 0-1, 3 G, 0 GS, 9.00 ERA, 5 IP, 52 ERA+
Alex Herrera RP (2003) 0-0, 10 G, 0 GS, 9.00 ERA, 7 IP, 51 ERA+; was #49 in 2002; claimed on waivers by Rockies
Matt Miller RP (2004-2007) 6-1, 96 G, 0 GS, 2.74 ERA, 101.2 IP, 160 ERA+
Guillermo Mota RP (2006) 1-3, 34 G, 0 GS, 6.21 ERA, 37.2 IP, 73 ERA+; traded with Andy Marte, Kelly Shoppach and Randy Newsom (PTBNL) by Red Sox for Coco Crisp, Josh Bard and David Riske; sent to Mets in conditional deal
Winston Abreu RP (2009) 0-0, 3 G, 0 GS, 23.14 ERA, 2.1 IP, 21 ERA+; traded by Rays for Jonathan Meloan
The All-Time List - 60
Rod Allen DH, PH (1988) 091/091/182 -26 OPS+, 11 PA
Bill Selby PH, 2B, RF, PR, 3B, LF (2000) 239/271/261 36 OPS+, 48 PA
Brian Tallet SP (2002) 1-0, 2 G, 2 GS, 1.50 ERA, 12 IP, 300 ERA+; switched to #30 in 2003
Jhonny Peralta SS, 3B (2003) 227/295/326 67 OPS+, 270 PA; switched to #16 in 2004
Statistics and such
The uniform #59 has been worn 23 times by 12 different players covering 19 seasons of a possible 84 seasons since 1929. Uniform #59 was shared in a season four times, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009.
The uniform #60 has been worn 5 times by 5 different players covering 4 seasons of a possible 84 seasons since 1929. Uniform #60 was shared in a season once, 2000.