Domingo Santana was never able to get settled in 2016, as injuries limited him to 77 games, and he didn't look like he was at full strength for much of the time he was healthy. Still, Santana finished with a respectable .256/.345/.447 line and 11 home runs, a pace of 23 over a full season. He offers plus-plus raw power to all fields, but we still haven't been able to see if he'll be able to make enough contact to be more than a low-average, 20-plus homer threat. Santana made tremendous strides last year to stop swinging at pitches out of the zone, which was his big bugaboo in Houston. He emerged as a Statcast darling, and his 96.3 mph average exit velocity led the majors in late April before injuries started to take their toll. In his age-24 season, he will be the everyday right fielder as long as he stays healthy. Santana has the upside to be a major fantasy asset who can be had a low cost if he can put his shoulder and elbow woes behind him.
Santana hit a three-run home run in Thursday's spring game and is 8-for-25 (.320) with three home runs and eight RBI through eight spring games. Santana posted an .852 OPS after the All-Star break last year, and he has continued to handle the bat well this spring. Injuries limited him to just just 77 games last season, but he is healthy heading into the new campaign and is locked into the regular right field job and a spot in the middle of the Brewers' batting order. If Santana can stay on the field and make further strides against right-handed pitchers -- his OPS against righties improved from .681 in 2015 to .726 in 2016 -- fantasy players should be plenty happy with the production he provides.
Santana is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Reds. Santana has been solid since returning from the DL in mid-August (.847 OPS, three home runs), but he'll get a regular day off Tuesday. Kirk Nieuwenhuis will take his place in right field against Cincinnati right-hander Dan Straily.
Santana is not in the lineup Sunday against the Cardinals, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Santana has started five consecutive games for the Brewers, going 7-for-19 (.368) in that time. However, he'll sit out of Sunday's series finale against St. Louis while Kirk Nieuwenhuis gets added to the Brewers outfield.
Santana went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer Thursday against the Cardinals. He's racked up eight hits -- three of them homers -- plus a steal over his last four starts, but is now seeing most of his action against left-handers, which doesn't exactly do wonders for Santana's already low fantasy value in season-long fantasy. True to form, his homer came off left-handed Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia; Santana's an intriguing low-cost DFS play against southpaws down the stretch.
Santana is out of the lineup Monday against the Cubs. The Brewers' existing logjam in the outfield will relegate Santana to a bench role for the fourth time in six games, as Kirk Nieuwenhuis joins the lineup as the club's right fielder. Nieuwenhuis' left-handedness may give him the edge for a lineup spot more often than not for Santana, who at this point in the season, looks like a better play in deeper mixed and NL-only formats, or as a DFS target when he's facing a southpaw starting pitcher.