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White Sox's Yermin Mercedes, 28, steps away from baseball

July 22 (UPI) -- Chicago White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes is stepping away from baseball indefinitely, the 28-year-old designated hitter announced on Instagram.

"I want to apologize to all those who I inadvertently offended as a consequence of my immaturity, like members of the radio, television and press," Mercedes wrote Wednesday.

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"To all the team's members who I was involved with, I'm sorry for failing as a human being and for not accepting some of their decisions. I'm stepping aside from baseball indefinitely."

Mercedes deleted White Sox-related material from his Instagram account earlier Wednesday. He also posted an Instagram story, which read "retirement?"

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"The White Sox are aware of tonight's Instagram post by Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, N.C.," the White Sox said in a statement. "At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans."

Mercedes made his MLB debut Aug. 2, but appeared in just one game last season. He made the White Sox Opening Day roster in 2021.

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He hit .415 with five home runs and 16 RBIs and won American League Player of the Month in April. His average dropped to .221 in May and .159 in June. He was demoted to Triple-A in July.

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Mercedes, who played catcher for Charlotte, went 0 for 2 in the Knights' 7-3 loss to the Durham Bulls on Wednesday in Durham, N.C. He was replaced by pinch hitter Nate Nolan in the sixth inning. He hit .309 with four homes and 10 RBIs in 14 games for the Knights in 2021.

"Just kind of understand, you get to Triple-A and had a taste of the big leagues, you can get emotional, and I don't know more than that," White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters Wednesday. "[I'm] probably going to reach out to him.

"As you probably know, if you are paying attention, several times he said how close we are. He knows I'm a supporter of his. So I'll reach out to him and see what's going on. It could be he's just feeling frustrated. I'll try to explain to him he's got a big league future."

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