Yankees slugger Anthony Rizzo has tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on the 10-day injured list before Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
Manager Aaron Boone reported that the first baseman is experiencing mild symptoms – achiness – but is doing well. He tested positive after Saturday’s win. The Yankees now have had 10 players test positive for COVID-19 in the past month and four in the last week. Pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery and catcher Gary Sanchez are also on the IL after testing positive.
Luke Voit, who has been on the IL with an oblique strain since July 16, is in the starting lineup and playing first base Sunday.
Then with the Cubs, Rizzo gave interviews in June in which he admitted that 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 got vaccinated since then.
Rizzo, acquired from Chicago before the MLB trading deadline, has played in nine games for the Yankees and has batted .281 with three home runs and six RBI.
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 Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays from July 24 to Aug. 1. Florida set state records for new COVID-19 cases three times this past 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 have been for a while returning 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 Rays placed Randy Arozarena on the COVID IL on Aug. 6. Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who was fully vaccinated in April, was placed on the COVID IL on July 31.
The Yankees depart after Sunday’s game for Kansas City and then Iowa for the Field of Dreams game and then Chicago.
Asked whether the Yankees would be changing protocols for behavior on the road so as not to contract 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.”