DENVER — Elehuris Montero's time is now.
After twiddling his thumbs in his first three times being called up with the Colorado Rockies, receiving little to no playing time, Montero has made the most of his opportunity to take the field every day. On Friday, with the Rockies riding a five-game losing streak and with a 13-0 defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday fresh on their mind, Montero hit his first Coors Field home run to give the Rockies a lead.
Then he did it again.
In the fourth inning, Montero hit his second home run of the night to give the Rockies a 7-0 lead. It was his first multi-homer day, as he finished the day with five RBIs in the Rockies 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.
"Honestly, it just feels amazing," Montero said through bullpen catcher Aaron Muñoz, who translated the interview. "There's no words to describe that feeling. I'm speechless."
Montero, who debuted in May, played in just 11 games during his first three stints with the team. He wanted to play more than anything — on the night before he debuted, Montero arrived in the middle of the game and walked around the dugout with his batting gloves on, hoping manager Bud Black would get the hint and send him in. Montero had to wait two more days before he took the field.
The Rockies felt it was best for Montero to get used to major league life before he became an everyday player. But each time he went back down to Triple-A, he lit up the field. The Rockies finally gave him a chance at the start of this month, wanting to see what he could do in the big leagues.
He hasn't let them down.
Montero has 18 hits in his 16 games since his most recent recall. He has a short, combat swing, coupled with some raw power, that makes him a potential threat. And the good news for the Rockies: at 24, Montero still isn't as strong as he's going to be. The Rockies feel that his "adult strength" hasn't kicked in yet, meaning he has the possibility for many more nights like this in the future.
"I feel like there's more in there," Montero said. "I just need to continue to work hard. You guys will see the real Montero."
Where he fits in with the team long-term is still up in the air. It's clear he belongs in the majors. But as a sub-par defender at a position where there's better talent ahead of him — Montero can play first and third, positions currently owned by Ryan McMahon and C.J. Cron — the Rockies will need to do some maneuvering to get him in the lineup every day. Montero can clearly hit homers, something this team is lacking despite playing half their games at altitude. The Rockies are among the bottom 10 teams in the league in home runs.
"I think there's a poise to him," manager Bud Black said about Montero. "I think there's more slugging percentage in there because of his strength. He's still learning."
On Friday, José Ureña pitched 6 ⅔ strong innings, giving up just one run. Connor Joe also hit a home run, his first since June 7 as he's been in an extended slump. Wynton Bernard also had a two-hit night, including his first extra-base hit since making his major league debut with the Rockies on Aug. 12.