Breakout White Sox rookie Yermín Mercedes says he's quitting baseball: 'It's over'
In April, Yermin Mercedes was one of baseball's greatest stories while making the best slap start in modern MLB history.
On Wednesday, he suddenly announced that he was quitting baseball. The Chicago White Sox catcher posted an Instagram message saying "It's over" in large white text on a black background. It was accompanied by a message of thanks to God and his fans.
“First of all, I want to thank God for giving the fans my life, that I would be nothing without them,” Mercedes wrote in a translation of the Chicago Sun-Times. “To my family for understanding me and always supporting me… I'm leaving baseball for a while. God bless you. It's over."
He also apologized to media representatives for "my immaturity". It is not clear what he was referring to there.
White Sox have not received any bonds
The White Sox announced that they are aware of his news but have not received any official correspondence from Mercedes.
"The White Sox are aware of today's Instagram post from Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active list of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, NC," the statement said. "At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermin of his plans for the future."
Historic start from Mercedes
Mercedes made headlines with its red-hot MLB debut going 8-for-8 at the start of its season, the most consecutive hits to start an MLB season since 1900, per Elias Sports. The 28-year-old rookie made his long-awaited major league debut after jumping around the minor leagues since 2011.
He had finally gotten his chance and made the most of it. He finished April with a .415 goal with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 22 games, earning him the AL Rookie of the Month award.
Yermin Mercedes was recently sent to Triple-A Charlotte amid a violent break-in. (AP Photo / Adam Hunger)
Drama with Tony La Russa
He hit the headlines again in May when he drew the ire of manager Tony La Russa, who criticized him for scoring a home run while the White Sox held an 11-run lead over the Minnesota Twins. The incident sparked a debate about the place of unwritten rules in modern baseball.
The White Sox demoted Mercedes to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2 amid a violent slump. He reportedly posted his Instagram message on Wednesday after being pulled to a pinch of hitter in the sixth inning of Charlotte's game.
Is Mercedes really finished?
For the season, Mercedes cuts .271 / .328 / .404 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 240 at-bats. La Russa told reporters on Wednesday evening that he would contact Mercedes.
"As you probably know, he has said several times how close we are," said MLB's Scott Merkin. “He knows I'm a supporter of his. So I'll get in touch with him and see what's going on. It could be that he's just plain frustrated.
"I'll try to explain to him that he has a great future."
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