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Astros take cautious approach with Altuve

Second baseman is day to day with right hamstring pain

SEATTLE -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said Friday his ailing right hamstring feels much better, but he remains day to day and wasn't in the lineup for the series opener against the Mariners. Altuve did take batting practice and went through his usual pregame drills.

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"He's day to day, but today's not the day," said manager A.J. Hinch, who has maintained he's going to be cautious with Altuve.

Altuve, who's hitting .287 with five homers, 28 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, said he felt great.

"I think there's a lot of improvement today, and we're close to where we want to be," he said. Hinch said Altuve has been straightforward with how he feels and that Hinch has the final decision on when Altuve returns to the lineup.

"That might come in a situation late in the game, it might come starting the game [Saturday] or the next day or you may not see him until Anaheim [vs. the Angels on Monday]," Hinch said. "I really want to take this day to day. I'll continually address his progress and get him back in there as soon as possible."

Worth noting

• The Astros announced the signing of five players who were selected in the 2015 Draft. Center fielder Myles Straw (12th round), left fielder Justin Garcia (17th), catcher Kevin Martir (18th), outfielder Aaron Mizell (32nd) and left-handed pitcher Steve Naemark (40th). The Astros also signed a non-drafted free agent, coming to terms with Nicholls State University catcher Christian Correa (no relation to Carlos).

Naemark, 25, entered the work force following high school and was out of baseball for four years. The Astros selected the left-handed pitcher with their 40th-round pick following his standout season at Angelo State University, in which he went 11-1 with a 1.37 ERA and 138 strikeouts. The Astros are also providing him with a scholarship to finish his degree.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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