White Sox’ Yermin Mercedes: ‘I know Chicago fans love me’

Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox bats during an intrasquad game at Guaranteed Rate Field. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Don’t look too much into Mercedes and Andrew Vaughn getting looks at third base in Yoan Moncada’s absence.

Even with Yoan Moncada on the 10-day injured list, don’t read too much into Andrew Vaughn and Yermin Mercedes getting looks at third base during White Sox summer camp.

The best bet to open the season at third base if Moncada isn’t ready is Danny Mendick, or perhaps Cheslor Cuthbert.

Vaughn and Mercedes working the hot corner have been worth a look, though. Both look like proficient hitters with power but neither was drafted (Vaughn No. 3 overall in 2019 and Mercedes in the Rule 5 Draft) for defense even at their primary positions, first base and catcher. Vaughn doesn’t think there’s more to him playing some third than “just moving around the field, helping me with my footwork, getting me a little more agile.”

Mercedes handled one ground ball without incident but made throwing errors on two others in the Sox’ intrasquad Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field. He did make a sprawling catch of an Eloy Jimenez liner in left field on Sunday.

The 5-11, 235-pounder hit .310 with 17 homers in 53 games at Class AAA Charlotte after a promotion from AA Birmingham last season and in spring training slugged his way to fan favorite status. He has made some hard contact in the five intrasquads, too.

“I love the fans,” Mercedes said Monday. “I know Chicago fans love me, they want me to play here in Chicago. The only thing I want to say is just wait. Wait for the team, wait for everybody. When they give me the opportunity, I promise I want to do the best for me, for my fans.”

This and that

Lucas Giolito threw four innings, allowing one run and retiring the last nine batters he faced with three strikeouts in that stretch. He threw 27 pitches in the first inning, then got on track.

*The broadcast schedule was announced, with 59 of 60 games to be televised on the team’s flagship, NBC Sports Chicago. The Field of Dreams game in Iowa Aug. 13 is on FOX. WGN Radio, in the third year of a three-year deal with the team, will do all 60 games.

*Luis Robert continued to look comfortable in center field, ranging a good distance to his left to easily run down a gapper by Nick Madrigal. Robert was 1-for-3 with a single and strikeout.

*Kelvin Herrera recorded five outs through the top of the Sox’ top lineup without allowing a hit and striking out Eloy Jimenez.

*For the first time, extra inning situations with a runner on second were set up. Other firsts: Umpires were used and the scoreboard was in operation.

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