JULY 16: Testing today has turned up zero new positive cases, manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). However, Boone added that six Yankees players have been confirmed positive within the past week and are expected to miss at least ten days, suggesting that follow-up testing on Judge, Urshela and Higashioka has confirmed their positive results. Friday’s game against the Red Sox will be played, with yesterday’s postponement to be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 17.
JULY 15, 5:20 pm: Judge is indeed the Yankees All-Star in question, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reports (via Twitter). Gio Urshela, and Kyle Higashioka are the other two Yankees in COVID protocol, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
JULY 15, 5:05 pm: Rafael Devers and other Red Sox All-Star representatives were asked to undergo additional COVID-19 testing after being told that one of the Yankees’ All-Star reps tested positive, ESPN’s Marly Rivera (Twitter links) reports. This would indicate at least one of Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, or Gerrit Cole — Cole was replaced on the All-Star roster but was still present during festivities.
JULY 15, 3:39 pm: Tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees has been postponed due to a COVID-19 situation within the Yankees’ clubhouse, as originally reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). Major League Baseball released an official announcement about the postponement, noting “positive COVID-19 tests within the New York Yankees organization.” There isn’t yet any word about a make-up date for tonight’s contest, and it isn’t yet known if any other games in the scheduled four-game series could be in jeopardy.
Speaking with The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler (all links to Twitter) and other reporters, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the club has six ongoing COVID-19 cases, all of players. Cashman confirmed that the three players currently on the Yankees’ COVID-related injury list (left-handers Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta, and righty Jonathan Loaisiga) all tested positive for the virus, while three other potential cases are pending confirmation of positive results. ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that “at least two” of the positive COVID tests were delivered by Yankees position players.
Most importantly, Cashman indicated that the cases appear to be asymptomatic, saying “As of right now, everybody is ok.” The Yankees as a whole have passed the league’s mandated 85% vaccination rate , though Cashman said that only “most” of the six players had received vaccines. Cortes, Peralta, and Loaisiga had all been vaccinated.
Cortes and Peralta were placed on the COVID-19 list earlier today, while Loaisiga’s placement came back on July 10. Loaisiga has yet to rejoin the team from their road trip in Houston, Cashman said, as the right-hander has been quarantined.
This is the second time the Yankees have been hit with a COVID outbreak this season, after eight players and coaches tested positive for the virus back in May. (New York manager Aaron Boone told Adler and other reporters today that Gleyber Torres’ positive test at the time was actually a false positive.) That outbreak didn’t result in any postponed games, as while COVID-IL placements have still been rather common this season, today’s Red Sox/Yankees matchup is the only the eighth game of the season to be postponed for COVID-related reasons. The other seven postponements all took place prior to April 19.