White Sox's Mercedes named AL Rookie of the Month
It wasn't all bad news for the White Sox on Monday.
Before general manager Rick Hahn announced center fielder Luis Robert is going to be sidelined 12-16 weeks with a Grade 3 strain (complete tear) of the right hip flexor, Sox designated hitter Yermin Mercedes was named American League Rookie of the Month.
The 28-year-old Mercedes hit .415/.455/.659 with 5 doubles, 5 home runs, 16 RBI, 10 runs scored and five 3-plus hit efforts in April.
Not expected to make the White Sox's roster coming out of spring training, Mercedes won a job and set a major-league record by starting the season with 8 straight hits.
Mercedes' 485-foot home run on April 8 against the Royals is the longest in baseball this season, and his 444-foot average distance leads the majors for players with at least 5 homers.
Originally in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Indians, Mercedes was scratched after being late to arrive at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"I talked to him," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said after the game. "It was explainable. I knew when I wrote him in there and then we took him out, it was definitely not a fan-friendly decision. He's earned a lot of popularity.
"But I talked to him. His reason for being late was explainable. I know the fans were disappointed."