DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa of the Yankees have tested positive for COVID.
Independence Day was overly eventful for the New York Yankees. In addition to losing Masahiro Tanaka to a scary head injury, the team also announced that both DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa have tested positive for COVID-19.
Both players tested positively before reporting to any team activities. As such, both are currently “self-isolating at their homes.” Each player gave the organization permission to release the update on their medical status. Speculation would have certainly arisen if neither had reported for preseason activities, but no team is permitted to communicate positive COVID-19 tests to the media without player permission.
LeMahieu was a revelation for the Yankees last season after being acquired in free agency. He’s expected to be the team’s starting second baseman when he is permitted to join the active roster. There is some optimism that his positive test has occurred early enough to allow him to be ready for Opening Day. Much of that will depend on how quickly his body will bounce back from the virus.
Cessa had an outside chance to compete for a spot in the team’s starting rotation, but his more likely role will be in Aaron Boone’s bullpen. He became a valuable long-man for the team late in the 2019 campaign. The Yankees have the depth to cope with his short-term absence, but his presence will be helpful in the team’s quest to keep pitch counts down for their starters during the shortened 60-game season.
Yankees fans should not expect further updates on the condition of either player until they are allowed to join their teammates after a prescribed period of self-isolation.