White Sox rookie catcher Mercedes says he’s leaving baseball

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HardballTalk 22 July, 2021 - 06:16am 6 views

How old is Yermin Mercedes?

Mercedes was one of the biggest stories of the early weeks of the 2021 season. The 28-year-old batted . 415/. 455/. CBS sports.comWhite Sox rookie Yermín Mercedes says he's leaving baseball after demotion: 'It's over'

Mercedes announced his decision on Instagram on Wednesday. He posted an image of the words “it’s over.”

“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me life to the fans that without them I’m nothing,” he wrote. “I walked away from baseball for a while. God bless you. It’s over.”

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa said he had just heard about Mercedes’ decision to step away and planned to reach out to him. He said Mercedes has a “big league future.”

“You’re at Triple-A, you’ve tasted the big leagues, you can get emotional,” La Russa said. “But I don’t know more than that.”

The 28-year-old Mercedes sparked Chicago’s offense through the opening months of the season, batting .415 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 22 games in April. In May, Mercedes angered La Russa by homering on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning of a game the White Sox led 15-4.

“As you probably know, if you’re paying attention, several times he’s said how close we were,” La Russa said. “He knows I’m a supporter of his. So I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. It could be he’s just a little frustrated.”

The catcher eventually cooled off, hitting .150 (16 for 107) over his final 31 games with Chicago before being demoted to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2.

“He’s a talented guy,” La Russa said. “He earned the spot on the roster. Then, he earned all those at-bats. And he ran into what happens often to rookies. There’s so much video and tape and they start making adjustments. You have to learn how to adjust back. I know the stroke that he showed early – his head’s on the ball and he’s not getting too big – he can make those adjustments and he can hit in the big leagues.”

The White Sox said in a statement that they were aware of Mercedes’ Instagram post and that he was currently on the active roster for their Triple-A team in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermin concerning his future plans,” the statement said.

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White Sox's Yermín Mercedes back with Triple-A team shortly after saying he was leaving baseball

CBS Sports 22 July, 2021 - 03:01pm

Chicago White Sox rookie designated hitter Yermin Mercedes has returned to the team's Triple-A affiliate, just a day after suggesting on his Instagram account that he was taking a leave from the sport. 

According to James Fegan of The Athletic, Mercedes is not only with the Charlotte Knights ahead of their game on Thursday against the Durham Bulls, but he 's also in uniform and on the active roster. Mercedes had posted an image saying "it's over" on Wednesday night, accompanied by an apologetic caption.

Mercedes was one of the biggest stories of the early weeks of the 2021 season. The 28-year-old batted .415/.455/.659 through the end of April with five home runs and 34 hits in 22 games. Fifteen of those hits came in his first six games of the season. He also became the first player in modern MLB history to begin his career with eight straight hits. As a result, Mercedes was named the AL Rookie of the Month for April.

However, Mercedes' decline began soon thereafter. In May, he batted .221/.292/.326 with two home runs in 28 games, and manager Tony La Russa touched off controversy after he criticized Mercedes for homering on a 3-0 pitch from a position player pitching in a blowout. In June, Mercedes' slash line dipped to .159/.221/.190 in 18 games. In early July, the White Sox demoted him to Triple-A Charlotte. 

He had been producing at a high level since being sent down, but Mercedes doesn't have an obvious path back to the majors at this time. No doubt, that contributed to his seeming frustration. Right now, Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger are sharing time at DH, and the eventual returns of injured outfielders Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert may lead to a roster crunch. 

The White Sox originally acquired Mercedes from the Baltimore Orioles during the minor-league phase of the 2017 Rule 5 draft. In his meandering journey to MLB, Mercedes spent parts of nine seasons in the minors, including two stints in unaffiliated independent ball. If this is indeed the end for Mercedes, then he concludes his MLB career with a line of .270/.327/.402 with seven home runs and 65 hits in 69 games with the White Sox. 

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Column: 10 people to keep an eye on in Chicago this weekend, from Yermín Mercedes to Kris Bryant

Chicago Tribune 22 July, 2021 - 12:43pm

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White Sox rookie slugger Yermin Mercedes appears to retire weeks after demotion: 'It's over'

Fox News 22 July, 2021 - 10:04am

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Chicago White Sox rookie slugger Yermin Mercedes raised eyebrows Wednesday night when he abruptly announced he was going to retire from baseball amid a roller coaster season.

Mercedes, who had been in the White Sox minor league system recently, posted an image of the words "it’s over" on Instagram.

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said after the team’s game against the Minnesota Twins he hadn’t heard about it until the press conference.

"You’re at Triple-A, you’ve tasted the big leagues, you can get emotional. But I don’t know more than that," La Russa said.

"As you probably know, if you’re paying attention, several times he’s said how close we were. He knows I’m a supporter of his. So I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. It could be he’s just a little frustrated," he said.

Mercedes, 27, started the 2021 season as hot as a player could be. He was hitting .415 with five home runs and 16 RBI in the first 22 games of the season.

He hit a controversial home run in the middle of a blowout game against the Twins earlier in the season. He didn’t receive any support from La Russa and the manager later brushed off the fact the Twins threw at him the following game.

Since that 16-4 White Sox win on May 17, Mercedes was only batting .162 with one home run. He was 18-for-111 and would later be demoted to Triple-A Charlotte.

"At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans," the White Sox said.

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White Sox's Yermin Mercedes, 28, steps away from baseball

UPI News 22 July, 2021 - 06:41am

"To all the team's members who I was involved with, I'm sorry for failing as a human being and for not accepting some of their decisions. I'm stepping aside from baseball indefinitely."

"The White Sox are aware of tonight's Instagram post by Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, N.C.," the White Sox said in a statement. "At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans."

Mercedes, who played catcher for Charlotte, went 0 for 2 in the Knights' 7-3 loss to the Durham Bulls on Wednesday in Durham, N.C. He was replaced by pinch hitter Nate Nolan in the sixth inning. He hit .309 with four homes and 10 RBIs in 14 games for the Knights in 2021.

"Just kind of understand, you get to Triple-A and had a taste of the big leagues, you can get emotional, and I don't know more than that," White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters Wednesday. "[I'm] probably going to reach out to him.

White Sox DH Yermin Mercedes Says 'It's Over' in IG Post Hinting at Retirement

Bleacher Report 22 July, 2021 - 02:15am

Chicago White Sox slugger Yermin Mercedes appeared to announce his retirement Wednesday night, writing "it's over" in an Instagram post while removing all photos and tags connected to the MLB club from his profile. 

In an Instagram post, Yermin Mercedes, an April sensation with the Chicago White Sox, says he's stepping "away from baseball for a while ... it's over." <br><br>Mercedes was sent to AAA earlier this month and had been playing well, hitting .309/.377/.655. <a href="https://t.co/11P6EgpiKn">pic.twitter.com/11P6EgpiKn</a>

Mercedes, 28, was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2 after struggling to rediscover the power that made him an instant fan favorite with the White Sox. The American League Rookie of the Month in April began the year slashing .415/.455/.659 with five home runs through 22 games, including eight straight hits to begin the season—the first player in MLB history to do so. 

White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters after Wednesday's 7-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins he still believes Mercedes has a future in the majors and plans to reach out.

La Russa on Mercedes: "I understand you’re in Triple-A, away from big leagues you can get emotional. Don’t know more than that. Will reach out to him. Could be just a little frustrated. I’ll try to explain to him that he has a big league future."

The journeyman minor league catcher spent nine years trying to make it to the majors. He finally got an opportunity with the White Sox in 2020, but he did not take an at-bat in his lone appearance. Instead, he had to wait for 2021 when a barrage of injuries led the Sox to start the season with Mercedes on the bench. He quickly became an early-season sensation before he began to struggle at the plate in May and June. 

If his career is over, he ends this season with a .271 batting average and .732 OPS along with seven home runs and 37 RBI.

"The White Sox are aware of tonight’s Instagram post by Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, NC. At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans."

At the time of his demotion, Mercedes had slashed .159/.221/.190 over his last 18 games. His last home run came on May 27. Ten days earlier, on May 17, Mercedes launched a 45 mile-per-hour heave from Twins utility-man Willians Astudillo on a 3-0 count in the ninth inning of a 15-4 game. The homer immediately drew the ire of Tony La Russa, who excoriated Mercedes in his postgame comments for ignoring the coach's sign to take the pitch. 

Mercedes' slump may have already begun at that point, but the public comments from La Russa hung around him for the next few weeks until his time in the bigs came to an end. 

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters he expected Mercedes would be back in Chicago at some point this season and wanted him to regain some confidence against less-refined pitchers. That seemed to work with Mercedes batting .309 with four home runs in 14 minor league games. Yet his road back to the big leagues only got more complicated since his demotion. 

Not only are the White Sox expecting both Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert to return from the 60-day Injured List by next month, call-ups Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets have played themselves into the lineup on a near daily basis.

Between those four, the trade deadline and Mercedes' struggles since April, even a strong showing in Triple-A was going to require a bit of luck before he suited up on the South Side again.  

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White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes leaving baseball

New York Post 21 July, 2021 - 11:24pm

July 22, 2021 | 12:24am

CHICAGO — Yermín Mercedes, the surprising rookie who helped carry the Chicago White Sox with his booming bat early in the season and got sent to the minors following a prolonged slump, says he is stepping away from baseball.

Mercedes announced his decision on Instagram on Wednesday. He posted an image of the words “it’s over.”

“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me life to the fans that without them I’m nothing,” he wrote. “I walked away from baseball for a while. God bless you. It’s over.”

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa said he had just heard about Mercedes’ decision to step away and planned to reach out to him. He said Mercedes has a “big league future.”

“You’re at Triple-A, you’ve tasted the big leagues, you can get emotional,” La Russa said. “But I don’t know more than that.”

The 28-year-old Mercedes sparked Chicago’s offense through the opening months of the season, batting .415 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 22 games in April. In May, Mercedes angered La Russa by homering on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning of a game the White Sox led 15-4.

“As you probably know, if you’re paying attention, several times he’s said how close we were,” La Russa said. “He knows I’m a supporter of his. So I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. It could be he’s just a little frustrated.”

The catcher eventually cooled off, hitting .150 (16 for 107) over his final 31 games with Chicago before being demoted to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2.

“He’s a talented guy,” La Russa said. “He earned the spot on the roster. Then, he earned all those at-bats. And he ran into what happens often to rookies. There’s so much video and tape and they start making adjustments. You have to learn how to adjust back. I know the stroke that he showed early — his head’s on the ball and he’s not getting too big — he can make those adjustments and he can hit in the big leagues.”

The White Sox said in a statement that they were aware of Mercedes’ Instagram post and that he was currently on the active roster for their Class-AAA team in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans,” the statement said.

Breakout White Sox rookie Yermín Mercedes says he's quitting baseball: 'It's over'

Yahoo Sports 21 July, 2021 - 11:13pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

You Pod to Win the Game

In April, Yermín Mercedes was one of baseball's biggest stories while riding the best hitting start in modern MLB history.

On Wednesday, he abruptly announced that he's quitting baseball. The Chicago White Sox catcher posted an Instagram message reading "it's over" in large white font against a black background. It was accompanied with a message thanking God and his fans.

He also apologized to members of the media for "my immaturity." It's not clear what he was referencing there. 

The White Sox released a statement that they're aware of his message, but that they haven't received any official correspondence from Mercedes. 

"The White Sox are aware of tonight’s Instagram post by Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, NC," the statement reads. "At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans."

Mercedes made headlines with his scorching-hot MLB debut as he went 8-for-8 to start his season, the most consecutive hits to start an MLB season since 1900, per Elias Sports. The 28-year-old rookie was making his long-awaited major league debut after bouncing around minor leagues since 2011. 

He'd finally gotten his shot and made the most of it. He finished April hitting .415 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 22 games, earning AL Rookie of the Month honors

He made headlines again in May when he drew the ire of manager Tony La Russa, who criticized him for hitting a home run while the White Sox held an 11-run lead over the Minnesota Twins. The incident ignited a debate over the place of unwritten rules in modern baseball.

The White Sox demoted Mercedes to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2 amid a hitting slump. He reportedly posted his Instagram message on Wednesday after being pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning of Charlotte's game. 

For the season, Mercedes is slashing .271/.328/.404 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 240 at-bats. La Russa told reporters Wednesday night that he would reach out to Mercedes.

"As you probably know, if you are paying attention, several times he said how close we are," La Russa said, per MLB's Scott Merkin. "He knows I’m a supporter of his. So I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. It could be he’s just feeling frustrated.

"I’ll try to explain to him he’s got a big league future."

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Yermín Mercedes, the surprising rookie who helped carry the Chicago White Sox with his booming bat early in the season and got sent to the minors following a prolonged slump, says he is stepping away from baseball. Mercedes announced his decision on Instagram on Wednesday. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa said he had just heard about Mercedes’ decision to step away and planned to reach out to him.

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