A little over a year ago, Yermin Mercedes was a breakout star rookie for the Chicago White Sox. Now, he's back in MLB, having been added to the SF Giants roster ahead of their home series finale with the pale hose.
Mercedes, a breakout star for the White Sox in April 2021, hadn't seen the Major Leagues since June 30, 2021, with Chicago until the Giants claimed him just last month and gave him opportunities in two games late in the month. He was then sent back to Triple-A Sacramento when Lamonte Wade Jr. was activated.
Thanks to a relative plethora of roster moves prior to Sunday's attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the sub-.500 White Sox, Mercedes is back on the big club's roster.
A total of four different players are joining or leaving San Francisco's roster before the game. The Mercedes addition was part of the second transaction, as he was recalled from Sacramento when infielder Thairo Estrada was placed on the COVID injured list, according to MLB.com beat writer Maria I. Guardado.
The Giants' Twitter account first announced a move where right-handed pitcher Sean Hjelle was recalled for bullpen depth, replacing infielder Jason Vosler was sent to Sacramento after Saturday's game.
Just over 20 minutes later, the official account reported the Estrada/Mercedes move, without mention of Estrada's COVID designation, symptoms or the fact that he hadn't yet tested positive.
Defensive woes at shortstop likely to continue for the SF Giants
The moves create a depth issue in the middle infield for San Francisco, which was already without starting shortstop Brandon Crawford - on the IL thanks to left knee inflammation (though he has reportedly been dealing with other nagging issues that may have affected his play). Estrada being unavailable means the team has three middle infielders on the 26-man roster: Donovan Walton, Wilmer Flores and Tommy La Stella.
Mercedes provides depth behind the plate and at first base, though his best position is likely designated hitter, so he's no help up the middle in the infield. La Stella has never played shortstop in a Major League game, and Flores hasn't stepped in at the position since 2016. So until more moves are made, Walton will probably received the bulk of the innings defensively - and over the last few days he hasn't been one to be confused with a solid defender.
Hopefully Walton's stay at short won't be long; Crawford yesterday was telling reporters, including John Shea of the SF Chronicle, that he was hoping to spend the minimum amount of time on the IL - which would mean returning Tuesday, the second day of a three-game set at Arizona.