Houston Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve injured his hamstring in the first inning of the team’s game on June 12. He isn’t believed to be seriously injured, though he was kept out of the lineup the following day.

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Altuve Out vs. Mariners

MLB.com’s Chandler Rome reported that Altuve would be out of Saturday’s lineup, though Astros manager A.J. Hinch didn’t seem overly concerned with the long-term impact of the injury.

“He’ll be day to day for the next couple days until he feels back to 100 percent,” Hinch said. “But I know he and our trainer were encouraged by how he was evaluated today. We avoided a worse injury.”

Rome also provided comments from Altuve, who also seemed optimistic about his injury, saying, “It feels really great, better than I thought. Obviously, I’m not playing today, but I feel way, way better than I did yesterday.”

Marwin Gonzalez took Altuve’s place when he left the game and also on Saturday. 

The reigning American League batting champion is impossible to replace in the lineup between his high contact rate and knack for stealing bases. Altuve is also extremely dependable on defense and seldom commits errors.

Even with Altuve not quite producing as well as he did last season, the Astros have enjoyed surprising success in 2015. Everyone has stepped up to help Houston exceed expectations by a long shot, but Altuve’s leadership is key.

Considering he missed just 14 games total in the prior two seasons, it will take a lot for Altuve to be out for too long.   

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