It has been a roller coaster of a season for Yermin Mercedes, the 28-year-old White Sox slugger who burst onto the scene to start the season but was demoted to Triple-A earlier in July.
Mercedes appeared as if he was going to retire from baseball with an Instagram post he shared following his demotion, but he remains on the Triple-A roster and even homered for Triple-A Charlotte on Friday night.
Mercedes was also the center of controversy earlier this season when he hit a home run off a position player on a 3-0 count, igniting debate over the “unwritten rules.”
Well, Mercedes is still catching criticism, this time from former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
Guillen, on the La Vida Baseball podcast, ripped Mercedes for acting like he is some sort of star.
“You’re not [Shohei Ohtani]. You’re not [Jose] Abreu. You’re not Tim Anderson. You are a cheeseburger kid, fat boy,” Guillen said. “You’re lucky to be in the big leagues, you’re lucky some people got hurt and you had a great start to the season.”
Guillen later added: “He’s lucky I’m not managing the White Sox, because he’d never wear that uniform.”
Guillen specifically referenced the home run Mercedes hit against off infielder Willians Astudillo on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning of a 15-4 game, defending manager Tony LaRussa.
“LaRussa played this kid 200 at-bats after that happened,” Guillen said. “He hit .110 after that happened. I interviewed this kid a couple days before he was sent down and he confused me. When he [said] people pay to watch me play, I didn’t even hear those words from Frank Thomas.”
“Everybody blame Tony LaRussa, everyone,” Guillen continued. “[But] nobody blame this kid. He’s a great kid, he’s confused, everybody have problems in baseball off the field. And this kid comes out doing this? Please, you’re not a prospect. You’re not.”
Mercedes has been playing well in Triple-A. In 17 games, he is hitting .308/.366/.646 with five home runs and 11 RBI.