The Nationals have activated shortstop Rick Hague to Single-A Potomac's roster. The 6-foot-2, 190 lb., infielder missed over a year with dislocated shoulder suffered in the first week of last season.
Hague went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, scored a run and had two strikeouts in his first game back in Woodbridge, Va., since April 2011. When healthy, Hague is considered one of the top infielders in the system and was one of the top choices to accelerate through the system quickly before last season's setback.
Hague hit .357 (5-for-14) in four games last season for Potomac, smacking a home run and two doubles. He showed top prospect ability at low Single-A Hagerstown in 2010, hitting .327 in 39 games with 12 doubles, five triples, three homers and 27 RBIs. Hague was a third-round selection in the 2010 draft and played for Team USA in 2009.
This is big news in the system because Hague missed 400 days and worked diligently to gain strength back in his shoulder so he could resume his professional career.
Zach Walters has played shortstop for the most part for Potomac, so Hague is likely to be the designated hitter (as he was Monday night) and play third base. He also will get time at shortstop, his natural position.
It is too bad the Nationals' 2011 top draft selection, third baseman Anthony Rendon, is out with a fractured ankle. A healthy Rendon and Hague would form a total left side of a former Rice Owls infield. No word yet on Rendon as he recovers from the ankle injury.
In other Nationals minor league transactions, infielder Sean Nicol was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg and infielder Jim Negrych got the call to Triple-A Syracuse.