Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo has tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on the 10-day COVID-19 injured list on Sunday.
Manager Aaron Boone reported that Rizzo was experiencing mild symptoms — achiness — but was doing well. He tested positive after Saturday’s win, becoming the 10th Yankees player to test positive for COVID-19 in the past month and fourth in the last week. He joins pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery and catcher Gary Sanchez on the COVID-19 IL.
“[Rizzo] has been terrific for us in every way,” Boone said. “He is doing all right. He has some symptoms. Obviously, [he’s] a little bummed out. Hopefully he will get rested up and well and be back . . . to impacting us.”
Luke Voit, who had been on the IL with knee inflammation since July 16, was activated before the game.
Then with the Cubs, Rizzo gave interviews in June in which he said he was not vaccinated and was hoping for more data about its efficacy.
“This is bigger than baseball. This is a life decision,” he told reporters in June. “It weighed hard. It’s a decision I made and I stand with, and obviously there are people that are going to hate me and think I’m disgusting. And there are going to be people that side with me. But it’s out in the open.”
Boone declined to say whether Rizzo, who turned 32 Sunday, had gotten vaccinated in the period after he came out as unvaccinated. Rizzo, acquired from Chicago before the July 30 trade deadline, is hitting .281 with three homers and six RBIs in nine games for the Yankees.
Asked about this recent rash of positive COVID-19 tests on the Yankees’ roster, Boone pointed to the club’s last road trip, which included games against the Rays and Marlins from July 24-Aug. 1. Florida has become a national epicenter of the pandemic and has set state records for new COVID-19 cases three times this week.
“I think a lot came out of Florida, where we were,” Boone said. “It’s a little bit of just, you don’t know where and when it’s spreading. Obviously, things had been for a while returning [to] almost completely normal and that went for us as well. But certainly things are relaxed, so there’s those chances even for vaccinated people that [it] can spread.”
The Yankees now will play in Kansas City, Iowa and Chicago.
Kansas City just reinstated mask mandates after it was deemed a COVID-19 hot spot.
“The entire state of Missouri, every one of our 114 counties is a hot spot zone for COVID-19,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said, according to CBS News. “So we saw it was important for us to act, given that updated guidance, from not just the CDC but our health department. That’s why we have a mask mandate today.”
Asked if the Yankees will be changing protocols for behavior on the road to avoid any more COVID-19 cases, Boone said, “In a lot of cases, we are already being more careful. But those will be conversations that we have [to] make sure we’re not doing anything that’s too outgoing without being too restrictive — making sure that we’re taking care of ourselves.”