The Chicago White Sox announced Friday that Yermin Mercedes suffered a hamate fracture in his left hand. The injury requires surgery, which will take place Monday, and his recovery timeline is 6-8 weeks.
Mercedes’ journey to (and in) the show has been a long and winding road. The big righty finally made his MLB debut at 27 years old, but it only consisted of one plate appearance during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
However, he took full advantage of his first extended look to begin the 2021 campaign while the White Sox were ravaged with injuries. Mercedes won AL Player of the Week honors for April 1-4, going 9-for-14 with two doubles and a home run in four games. He followed that up with AL Rookie of the Month honors for April.
But as the weather warmed up, Mercedes cooled down. May brought about controversy with manager Tony La Russa and the beginning of a slump that he never bounced back from. Mercedes saw his last MLB action of 2021 on June 30 before a demotion to Triple-A Charlotte.
In mid-July, a discouraged Mercedes briefly “retired” from baseball in a peculiar fashion. But White Sox coaches in addition to players past and present spoke with him and cooler heads prevailed. Mercedes finished the season in Triple-A while the likes of Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger saw opportunities at the big-league level.
Entering Spring Training 2022, getting back to the show was always going to be an uphill battle for Yermin Mercedes. While he’s still technically listed as a catcher, he had been working more in left field.
And given the White Sox questionable outfield defense aside from Luis Robert, Mercedes likely only has a shot at designated hitter reps this season.
Now, a left-hand injury — in addition to a crowd of players vying for DH time — will make a potential journey back to the MLB level even tougher.
Despite the dramatics, one thing is certain about Yermin Mercedes. He has persevered through adversity before despite numerous bumps in the road. Only time will tell if he will ever don a Chicago White Sox uniform at 35th/Shields again, but anything can happen during a 162-game grind.
Follow On Tap Sports Net on social media!