It's playoff time. That's no time to be timid. Let's get right to the players on the waiver wire ready to help your push to a championship.
Jesus Montero, Yankees -- Montero had a banner Labor Day weekend, capping it with a two-homer game in the Yankees' 11-10 win over the Orioles on Monday. After a day off Tuesday, he was back in the lineup against lefty Zach Britton Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with two RBI. He should get all the DH at-bats against lefties for the remainder of the regular season, and will slot in against righties at times, too. His catcher eligibility makes him a valuable addition in the fantasy playoffs.
Jason Motte, Cardinals -- Motte has sparkled all season long, and with a pair of saves in his last two appearances -- coupled with Fernando Salas pitching in a few non-save situations -- it appears Tony LaRussa will give Motte plenty of opportunity to close games for the rest of the season. He has 51 strikeouts in 58.1 innings this year to go with a 1.70 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, so the Cardinals might as well see if he can close next year with the Brewers a virtual lock to win the NL Central.
Brandon McCarthy, A's -- It might have taken a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts against the Mariners in his last start for McCarthy to finally get everyone's attention, but he has been deserving of it for a long time. If we take out a 3.1-inning shelling at the hands of the Rangers, McCarthy is 6-1 since July 26, allowing 13 earned runs in 52.2 innings with 46 strikeouts. He's a risky start at Texas over the weekend, but he gets a nice matchup against the Angels next week.
Angel Pagan, Mets -- Pagan has been a major disappointment this season, but don't hold April and May against him now. He lit it up in August, posting a .318/.342/.477 slash with three homers. He has continued his hot hitting in September, going 10-for-25 in six games. He was a BABIP casualty earlier in the year, and that has started to even out over the last six weeks, accompanied by a 28 percent line-drive rate in August.
Yonder Alonso, Reds -- With the Reds realistically out of playoff contention, there really isn't a reason for Dusty Baker to keep Alonso out of the lineup because of his glove. This is a guy who hit .296/.374/.486 at Triple-A Louisville and carries a .382 batting average with four homers in 55 at-bats. The Reds need to see what they have in Alonso for 2012 and beyond. He should be in the lineup at least five or six days a week the rest of the season.
Julio Teheran, Braves -- Teheran will start Thursday and should get a few turns in the rotation to keep the Braves' regular starters fresh for the playoffs.
Philip Humber, White Sox -- Humber was activated from the DL Monday and tossed seven shutout innings against the Twins. He gets the Indians and Royals in his next two starts.
Andy Dirks, Tigers -- With Brennan Boesch out for the season, Dirks should see an uptick in playing time. That's his main asset, but consistent PT may be what he needs to capitalize on the skills that produced a .325/.368/.522 line at Triple-A Toledo in 157 at-bats.
Chat with me 140 characters at a time on Twitter, @MBeller.
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