The Angels are trotting out back-to-back lefties Saturday and Sunday (Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs, respectively), and it sounds like manager John Farrell will take the opportunity to get the 40-year-old Ortiz a breather. Ortiz just had day off last weekend, but of course he didn't really have much of an All-Star break and the Red Sox want to be sure he's at full strength for the stretch run.
Vargas will get a day of Thursday as Robbie Grossman takes over the designated hitter's spot. In the past five games, Vargas has gone 6-for-18 with three RBI and three doubles, and has provided a nice bat to the lineup since being recalled from Triple-A in early July.
He will undergo surgery for herniation of C4/C5 disc on Friday, which will be performed by Dr. Drew Dossett. Fielder was one of the biggest busts in fantasy this year and he will now undergo the second major herniated disc surgery of his career. He hit .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs in 89 games and his .626 OPS was by far the lowest mark of his career. It is hard to realistically expect much from him going forward, but given how much money remains on his contract ($120 million), he will certainly get plenty of chances to return to form.
With Jason Castro getting the nod behind the dish and Preston Tucker starting in left field, the Astros will use the DH spot to keep George Springer's bat in the lineup, sending Gattis to the bench. When the Astros' lineup is at full strength with Yulieski Gurriel in the fold in a week or two, Gattis may struggle to get playing time when he is not in the lineup at catcher.
Butler has started 12 of the last 20 games, and owners should be able to expect a similar role from him going forward. He has been consistently mediocre in recent seasons, with a .311 wOBA in three straight seasons and a wRC+ between 95 and 99 in each of the past three seasons.
Cruz fouled a ball off of his foot Tuesday night and continues to deal with soreness, as it's the same foot that caused him to miss time earlier in the month. The Mariners don't believe the issue is overly serious, though, and Cruz may be available in a pinch-hitting capacity Wednesday night.
Ortiz has been a slugging machine all month, as this marks his seventh home run and 11th extra-base hit in 19 games. He's hitting a robust .301/.369/.644 in July -- actually slightly worse than his .328/.418/.666 overall line, as he has been consistently excellent all season long in his farewell campaign.
Gattis left the yard for the 17th time in 2016 to draw the Astros within four runs in the seventh inning of a losing effort. He's now crushed four bombs in his last four games, and he's slashing .221/.287/.461 on the season.
He left in the seventh inning after going 1-for-4 with a RBI and a strikeout and was replaced by Seth Smith. He missed a game with a sore foot earlier this month, and it sounds like he's back to being day-to-day after taking a foul ball off the same foot Tuesday.
Cruz singled to open up the seventh inning, but seemed to tweak something while running to third on Kyle Seager's double later that inning. He was replaced in the field at the end of the half inning by Vidal Nuno after refusing help from the trainers at third base. Cruz will be considered day-to-day until Seattle releases more information on the matter, but could sit out Wednesday's contest with the team's upcoming off day Thursday in order to get some extra rest.