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The Wire Troll: Elehuris Montero Mashing for Rox

September 16, 2023 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Elehuris Montero is really starting to roll for the Colorado Rockies.
Elehuris Montero has heated up down the stretch. (Purple Row)

Welcome back to what is likely the final MLB Wire Troll of the 2023 season. We’ll be switching gears to waiver wire recommendations for hockey and, soon, basketball within the next week or two.

This week, Boston shook up its front office by firing Chaim Bloom; the O’s again reached into their prospect bag with the promotion of outfielder Heston Kjerstad; and Matt Chapman (finger) has been activated from the IL.

And now let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Elehuris Montero, 1B/3B, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 1.8 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Montero has been inconsistent this season, and mostly bad, but has he ever picked things up lately. After spanking a two-run dinger on Wednesday and delivering an RBI single on Friday, he’s now hit safely in eight straight games, with multiple hits in three of them to jack his September BA to .381. Recently shifted into the cleanup spot, he’s seen more action in his second season and is now racking up enough counting cat numbers and a solid enough BA to be useful in NL-only leagues. There is still some upside here (especially in the power department… see video below for an example) if Montero can manage to carve out a full-time role in 2024.

Sean Manaea, RP/SP, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 14.8 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Manaea was a Wire Troll All-Star in 2019, but it’s been mostly downhill since (other than a very good 2021 campaign with the A’s). In fact, things got so bad this season that he was relegated to the bullpen, even managing to bag his first career save a few weeks ago. But Manaea got another start on Tuesday and was quite good, coming within one out of a QS, and will get another crack on Sunday. Yes, it’s in Colorado, so is not the best streaming option, but the fact that he’s looked progressively better since the end of June and is back in the rotation makes him worth reconsidering.

Griffin Canning, SP, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: 17.6 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): Griffin is enjoying a breakout season, turning into a much better source of Ks and pitching better than his bottom line results suggest (3.76 SIERA). Yes, he’s been inconsistent, but — despite a less than pretty showing on Friday — has looked strong in three of his last five starts, and really, has made a very nice recovery in the wake of an awful 2022, which was bad enough for us to wonder about his future as a starter.

Chris Martin, RP, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 3.2 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): When the Cubs blew up their bullpen at the trade deadline last year, it worked out brilliantly for the Dodgers, as they landed Martin who was superb down the stretch. Now with Boston, he’s arguably been even better this season, having not surrendered an earned run since late-July. He may even get a chance to bag some saves now that Kenley Jansen (COVID-19… really?) is out. Martin has assembled a career year with his excellent record and personal best in holds.

Mike Yastrzemski, OF, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 9.7 per cent; CBS: 45 per cent): Yastrzemski slotted inside the top 65 in our preseason Fantasy Outfielder Rankings, and although he’s missed quite a bit of time with injuries, he’s exceeded our expectations when healthy — like now (coming off the IL at the end of August). Recently he’s been moved to the leadoff spot and has responded, hitting safely in six straight before a couple of hitless efforts this week. Yaz has been flashing some impressive extra-base sock this month and his overall counting cats would be a lot tastier had he not missed so many games. Even so, he’s already tied his second best WAR ever with a couple of weeks to go, so we’re a bit surprised his ownership remains this low.

Heston Kjerstad, OF, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 1.9 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Kjerstad occupied the final spot in our Top 100 Prospects list in 2021 before dropping off last year after missing the entire 2021 season with health issues. He re-established himself as a kid to track this season (No. 24 on MLB Pipeline’s prospect ranking) with strong hitting at both Double-A and Triple-A and now he’s been recalled to make his MLB debut. Kjerstad may not get a ton of PT (although he did produce the O’s only run on Friday with a homer for his first MLB hit), so he’s probably only worth adding in deep AL-only leagues, but as a dynasty option, he’s a potential stud.

Myles Straw, OF, Cleveland Guardians (ESPN: 2.9 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Straw can pick it in CF, but the reason to add him has to do with his wheels. If you need a category boost in steals, he can help you (he’s tied for 49th in the bigs in swipes). Straw has slumped badly down the stretch, but with hits in back-to-back games earlier this week he’s showing signs of life. He’s actually hit a bit better this season, but his playing time has slipped for the second straight year, and at this point in his career, he is what he is: a veteran outfielder with fine defensive skills and solid speed.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

American rock band Toto has been active since 1977, notwithstanding a couple of short breaks. In 2001, the band released a compilation, Hold the Line — the Very Best of Toto, which naturally included “Africa,” originally released on Toto IV (1982). Despite being the final track on the album, the song has become iconic, ranking No. 452 on Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Greatest Songs of all time list.

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