One of the most frequently asked questions on the Facebook page is: “How’s Hague doing on the farm?” or “When is Hague coming back up?” This article should shed a little light on that, though the latter question can’t really be answered until we hear something in the press.
Hanshin infielder Matt Hague (30) exploded for three hits and an RBI in the Western League game against the Chunichi Dragons (in Kamitomita) on the 15th, raising his average to .423. Farm manager Masayuki Kakefu game his stamp of approval as the import continues to hit the ball well. Because of the 4-import limit rule, Hague has continued to be stuck on the farm, though the team lost 4-3 in a hard-fought battle.
There’s another reliable hitter right here. Hague’s three hits showed off his solid batting skills and his average is now well above the .400 mark.
“Good! I feel great up there.”
The results are there too, and the sense of fulfillment seen in his work. In the first inning with one out and a runner on second, he dropped an RBI single into shallow center field, giving the team an early lead. In the sixth he hit one to right, in the eighth to left, showing ability to hit to all fields. It was his first three-hit game since May 4th (at Koshien) against the Hiroshima farm team. His stellar hitting is definitely making a strong case for his call up.
After being sent down on April 18th, he was given advice by Kakefu to not lower his head so much. Says Kakefu, “He has been hitting the ball well all along. I’m always prepared to send him back up (to the first squad).”
The number three hitter for the first squad on this day was Yamato, but this was the position that number 36 held on Opening Day. Because of the import limitation, Hague has had to stay on the farm a long time, but if the team is in need of a strong right handed hitter, the man is ready to step up any time.
“All I can do is keep producing, getting results. I hope to keep playing like this.”
The season will have its peaks and valleys. The import has his game on cruise control but has kept his concentration level high, not allowing himself to lose his edge while on the farm.