Yermin Mercedes, the American League Rookie of the Month in April who was sent down to Triple-A Charlotte after slumping in May and June, announced on his Instagram account Wednesday that he is retiring from baseball.
“First of all I want to thank God for giving me life to the fans that without them I was nothing,” Mercedes wrote on his Instagram account. “To my family for understanding me and always supporting … I walk away from baseball for a while God bless you. It’s over.”
The Sox said they are aware of the post but “have not received any official notification from Yermin concerning his future plans.”
Mercedes, 28, who was optioned to Charlotte on July 2, started for the Knights Wednesday and was removed from the game for a pinch-hitter after two at-bats. In 14 games he was batting .309/.377/.655 with four home runs.
Mercedes hit .221 in May with two home runs, and hit .159 in June for the Sox.
A fan favorite and MLB sensation in April who was 8-for-8 in his first eight at-bats, Mercedes found himself in the middle of a controversy when he missed a take sign and homered on a 3-0 pitch against the Twins’ Tyler Duffey in May. He was called out by manager Tony La Russa for breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules.
Hamilton: crowd pleaser
Sox fans have taken to Billy Hamilton, and the feeling is mutual.
“Sometimes I get just like this shock through my body, it’s an awesome feeling,” Hamilton said of how Guaranteed Rate Field crowds respond to him. “These South Side fans, it’s great. They keep me going. Sometimes I’m not even in the game and they are hollering “Bil-ly.”
The speedy Hamilton, getting a start in center field Wednesday after coming off the bench to drive in the go-ahead run in a Sox victory the night before, gave the Sox a spark in the last game of a four-game series against the Twins. Batting ninth, he grounded a one-out double past third baseman Josh Donaldson, stole third and scored the Sox’ only run against Michael Pineda on Adam Engel’s infield single.
Sox right-hander Dylan Cease allowed three runs over five innings, giving up a homer to Max Kepler, and the Twins built their lead to 6-1 with three runs against righty Codi Heuer in the sixth.
The Sox are the fifth organization in the last two seasons for Hamilton, who has eight of his 313 career stolen bases this season. Signed by the Sox for needed depth during their rash of outfield injuries, he has been a little bit more than a pinch runner and late-innings defensive replacement, sprinkling a small bundle of big hits and catches over a modest .223/.245/.395 hitting line.
“It’s a great feeling to be a part of this team,” Hamilton said. “It’s unbelievable.”
The pitching matchups for the weekend series at the Brewers, following an off day Thursday, feature five ERAs under 2.40: Lucas Giolito (8-6, 3.90 ERA) vs Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.39) on Friday, Carlos Rodon (8-3, 2.14) vs. Corbin Burnes (5-4, 2.16) Saturday and Lance Lynn (9-3, 1.94) vs. Brandon Woodruff (7-4, 2.04) Sunday.
This day in history
Wednesday marked 70 years since Sam Hairston, who is credited with breaking the White Sox color barrier alongside Cuban-born Minnie Minoso and Bob Boyd, made his MLB debut on July 21, 1951.