White Sox’ Yermin Mercedes Calls It Quits
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that White Sox catcher, Yermin Mercedes, has decided to step away from the game of baseball.
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."
Mercedes was sent to AAA earlier this month and had been playing well, hitting .309/.377/.655. pic.twitter.com/11P6EgpiKn
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2021
Mercedes got off to a blistering start in April and slashed .415/.455/.659 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. However, his numbers dropped precipitously as he hit .221 in May and .159 in June before his demotion to the minors.
But Mercedes’ lack of production might have stemmed from a lack of confidence following a public disagreement with White Sox manager Tony La Russa.
You might recall that in May, Mercedes ignored a take-sign from his manager on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning while the White Sox were leading 15-4 against the Twins.
Minnesota had basically waved the white flag and even had a position player on the mound in Willians Astudillo. Astudillo threw a get-me-over 47 mph eephus pitch that Mercedes launched out of the ballpark.
La Russa saw Mercedes’ decision to swing away as a sign of disrespect to him and the game of baseball. He publically admonished his catcher and said, “He made a mistake. There will be a consequence he has to endure here within our family.”
When the Twins threw behind Mercedes in the next game, La Russa didn’t stand up for Mercedes. Instead, he said, “I’m suspicious when someone throws at someone’s head. I didn’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that.”
It’s worth noting that Mercedes was hitting .364 after hitting the home run on May 17th, but he was down to .311 by the end of the month. During the season, he talked about the importance of being himself and playing the game in a manner in which he’s most comfortable to be at his best. One has to wonder if the friction with La Russa resulted in him losing a bit of confidence.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and both sides can reach some form of an agreement that will keep Mercedes in baseball — whether it’s with the White Sox organization or another ball club.
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