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

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

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Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox bats during an intrasquad game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox bats during an intrasquad game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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 the White Sox’ summer camp.

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

And if Moncada isn’t ready when the Sox open the season July 24 against the Twins, it might not be a long wait after that.

‘‘When he gets back, we’ll see where he’s at as far as where his legs are at,’’ bench coach Joe McEwing said. ‘‘Special talent like that, [it] won’t take too long.’’

In Moncada’s absence, Vaughn and Mercedes have been worth a look at the hot corner. Both look to be proficient hitters with power, but neither was drafted (Vaughn No. 3 overall in 2019, Mercedes in the Rule 5 Draft) for defense even at his primary position (first base for Vaughn and catcher for Mercedes).

Vaughn, who played first base Monday, said he only has played some at third ‘‘just moving around the field, helping me with my footwork, getting me a little more agile.’’

After handling one ground ball without incident, Mercedes made throwing errors on two others in the Sox’ intrasquad game.

The 5-11, 235-pound Mercedes hit .310 with 17 home runs in 53 games last season at Class AAA Charlotte and in spring training slugged his way to fan-favorite status. He has made plenty of hard contact in the five intrasquad games, too.

‘‘I love the fans,’’ Mercedes said. ‘‘I know Chicago fans love me; they want me to play here in Chicago. The only thing I want to say is, ‘Just wait.’ ’’

This and that

Right-hander Lucas Giolito pitched four innings and allowed one run. He retired the last nine batters he faced and had three strikeouts in that stretch. He threw 27 pitches in the first inning, then got on track.

• The broadcast schedule is set, and 59 of the Sox’ 60 games will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago. The ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ game Aug. 13 in Iowa will be televised on Fox-32. WGN Radio, which is in the final year of a three-year deal with the team, will carry all 60 games.

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

• For the first time, the Sox simulated extra-inning situations with a runner on second to start the inning. Other firsts: Umpires were used, and the scoreboard was in operation.

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