Sunday Afternoon Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Anthony Rendon, Hector Santiago, Dee Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes and Others

April 07, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Hector Santiago (53) throws to the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The White Sox won beating the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 baseball season just started and we have several players who could be breakout players this season. We learned yesterday that White Sox reliever Hector Santiago had a good chance to be the team's closer this season, and he earned his first save of the season last night. Here is Mark Gonzales from the Chicago Tribune on Santiago:

Ventura explained later that Santiago wasn't the Sox's first choice as closer in spring training.

"We got toward the end, and you start looking at what he has and what he brings," Ventura said. "Instead of making him be the long guy, we started looking at him more at the end of the game. You don't have to move anybody around and you still can keep Jesse (Crain) and Matt in the seventh and eighth, which are very important innings."

So go out and grab Santiago in all your leagues if he is still available.

Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon was the star of the game last night as he drove in the winning run in the 11th inning of the Dodgers 6-5 win over the Padres. Gordon went 3-4 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored and 3 stolen bases. He has been on base 7 times this season, one being a triple, and has attempted 4 stolen bases already. As long as he is hitting and can improve the walk rate, Gordon is going to be a valuable fantasy performer this season.

More Fantasy Baseball Thoughts after the jump:

Well, Yoenis Cespedes is making all of his critics look bad in the early going of the 2012 season, as he hit his 3rd HR of the season in the A's 8-7 loss to the Mariners. Shocking that the teams combined for 15 runs and even more shocking is that Felix Hernandez gave up 6 runs in 6+ innings last night. To the A's!

National's third base prospect Anthony Rendon injured his left leg last night running the bases and will be evaluated today. He had to be helped off the field according to Amanda Comak from the Washington Times:

The extent of Rendon's injury is not known at this time and the Nationals have only said that his status is to be determined. Witnesses at the game said Rendon required assistance to leave the field and was not putting any weight on the leg.

Brewers ace Zack Greinke hurled a gem yesterday, shutting out the Cardinals on 3 hits over 7 innings, striking out 7 and inducing 12 ground ball outs. I own Greinke in a few leagues, and think he can improve upon his 2011 season. He is in his walk year and will challenge Phillies starter Cole Hamels for biggest contract next offseason.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is making some roster changes for Sunday's game against the Brewers, one of which surprises me. This from Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

But Matheny said changes will be made to the lineup Sunday against Milwaukee lefty Randy Wolf. Right-handed hitting Tyler Greene, whom the Cardinals earmarked to start at second entering spring, probably will start, and Matheny said he's considering putting Carlos Beltran in center field for the first time.

With his knee injury history, I am surprised that Matheny would put Beltran in center field.

Joe Nathan gave up the winning run in the 9th inning last night. How long before we see a new closer in Texas? I am not confident that Nathan can keep the job this season.

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