For the first time in months, COVID-19 is causing chaos in Major League Baseball.
The Yankees and Rockies grapple with coronavirus outbreaks that have sidelined 10 players and two coaches, including New York slugger Aaron Judge and Colorado manager Bud Black, as baseball kicks off the second half. of his season after the All-Star break.
Boston and New York played last night, as planned, a day after postponing the first game of the series, when it was reported that six Yankees players had been infected.
Judge, third baseman Gio Urshela and catcher Kyle Higashioka entered the COVID-19 list on Friday. They were joined by pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga, Néstor Cortés Jr. and Wandy Peralta.
Nicaraguan Loaisiga entered the disabled list during a tour of New York in Houston. Cuban Cortés and Dominican Peralta were added on Thursday.
Black, starting coach Ron Gideon and four players were unavailable for Colorado’s Friday night game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Right-handers Antonio Senzatela, Yency Almonte and Jhoulys Chacín, as well as outfielder Yonathan Daza, were added to the COVID-19 list.
These outbreaks come as teams try to resume the season after the All-Star break in Denver on Tuesday. They are a step backward for a league that had not postponed a single game over coronavirus concerns in nearly three months.
At least one in three infected players – Judge Urshela or Higashioka – was not vaccinated, the Yankees said. Manager Aaron Boone predicted that each of the players who tested positive will be absent at least 10 days from the time their test result was obtained.
Some of the players experience mild symptoms, but Boone said none have become seriously ill.
Gerrit Cole, the Yankees ace, compared the news to the feeling of being hit by “an invisible truck.”
The Yankees underwent another round of rapid testing on Friday, with no further positive cases revealed.
New York, fourth in the American League East Division with a disappointing 46-43 record, was among the first teams to reach the 85% vaccinated threshold, which allowed the coronavirus protocols to be relaxed, for example withdrawing the obligation to wear mask in caves and bullpens.
New York called up four players from its Triple-A affiliate in Scranton / Wilkes-Barre on Friday: first baseman Chris Gittens, infielder Hoy Park, outfielder Greg Allen and wide receiver Rob Brantly. Outfielder Trey Amburgey was promoted Thursday, when left-hander Zack Britton was also recovered from the 10-day inactive list due to injury.
Major League Baseball conducts contact tracing under its own protocols.
New York announced Thursday’s postponed game will be held as part of a split admission doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 17. (AP)