Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Luis Cessa have both tested positive for the coronavirus, manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including ESPN’s Marly Rivera). Cessa has mild symptoms, while LeMahieu is asymptomatic. Neither player has arrived at the Yankees’ Summer Camp, as both were tested before making the trip to New York.
As per the league’s COVID-19 policy, LeMahieu and Cessa are under quarantine for a two-week period, and will then have to exhibit no symptoms and test negative twice for the virus before being cleared to play. With Opening Day tentatively scheduled for July 23, that leaves some time for either player to make the initial 30-man roster, though Cessa might need a bit more time to get his arm in proper shape.
LeMahieu is coming off a superb debut season with the Yankees, as the veteran finished fourth in AL MVP voting and collected Silver Slugger honors after hitting .327/.375/.518 with 26 home runs in 655 plate appearances. After getting a lot of playing time at first, second, and third base last season, LeMahieu is expected to be New York’s regular second baseman now that Gleyber Torres is taking over at shortstop, though LeMahieu’s versatility will give Boone some valuable flexibility in juggling his lineup.
Cessa has worked as a reliever and occasional starter for the Yankees over his four MLB seasons, and posted a 4.11 ERA, 2.42 K/BB rate, and 8.3 K/9 over 81 innings (all as a reliever) in 2019. This workhorse-like ability to eat innings is particularly valuable in a short season, where New York’s entire staff will be called upon while the starters get ramped up.