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.