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CHICAGO (CBS) — White Sox rookie sensation Yermin Mercedes is back in uniform for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, less than a day after he said he had “walked away from baseball for a while,” and suggested he was retiring.
Wednesday night, Mercedes posted an image on Instagram of the words “It’s over,” and wrote that he was stepping away from the game “for a while.”
By Thursday afternoon, it appeared he had changed his mind. According to multiple published reports, Mercedes was not only still on the team’s roster, but was in uniform for the Charlotte Knights for their game against the Durham Bulls.
Mercedes has also removed his “It’s over” post from Instagram, and on Thursday posted an image of a phoenix, along with a lengthy post in Spanish, ending with a message in English, “God bless y’all🙏🏽 I love everybody I’m Back ⚾️”
“I’m never going to give up,” he wrote, according to a translation of his Instagram post. “I lasted 10 years in the minor league. I have always understood that the process is great but the talent & what I have shown speak for themselves with the greatest humility I am speaking from the heart. My dream is to be an established player in the major leagues. I have always asked God to give me the opportunity that he gave me 3 months ago. I owe myself to my family, to my organization and to my fans. Something I have failed him I have baseball in my blood. 🩸 And now Yermin Mercedes is missing. Thank you my God for guiding me to the right path and making the right decision.”
Mercedes became a league sensation in April, starting the season with an MLB record 8-for-8 streak, with a home run and six RBI in his first two games. He was named the American League Rookie of the Month for April, when he batted .415/.455/.659 with a 1.113 OPS, five home runs, five doubles, and 16 RBI.
However, his performance began to drop off sharply in May, when he batted .221/.292/.326 with a .619 OPS, two home runs, two doubles, and 14 RBI. He also upset manager Tony La Russa by hitting a home run on a 3-0 pitch from a position player while the White Sox were holding a 15-4 win over the Minnesota Twins.
In June, his slash line plummeted to .159/.221/.190 in 18 games before he was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in early July.
While he’s been hitting well for the Knights, batting .298/.365/.632 with a .997 OPS, four home runs, and 10 RBI in 15 games so far, a return to the majors seems unlikely anytime soon for Mercedes, with injured star outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert on track to return to the team in the next few weeks, and fellow rookie Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger offering more flexibility in the field.
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