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DJ LeMahieu, Luis Cessa have coronavirus, Yankees say; Sanchez, Chapman awaiting test resu

Infielder DJ LeMahieu and reliever Luis Cessa tested positive for the coronavirus, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday.
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New York Daily News

Jul 04, 2020 8:00 PM

DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa have tested positive for the coronavirus and have not reported to New York for training camp. Manager Aaron Boone announced that both players tested positive back where they had been spending the hiatus and they have remained there.

“Both are self-isolating right now in their homes, outside the state of New York right now,” Boone said after the Yankees’ first official training camp workout at Yankee Stadium Saturday. “In DJ’s case, he’s been asymptomatic the whole time and in Luis’ case he has very mild symptoms. So we’re hopeful that it’ll be a short time but they are not here at this point. And so, you know we’ll see how that continues to unfold the next several days.”

According to protocol, LeMahieu — who worked out in Tampa for weeks after spring training was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic — and Cessa need to have two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared. Both players allowed the Yankees to share the information with the public. 

When LeMahieu and Cessa are cleared to travel, they will be retested when they arrive, part of the “intake process” in the MLB/MLBPA health and safety protocols for attempting to play a 60-game season in the middle of a pandemic. 

They were not the only players missing from the major league workout Saturday afternoon. Catcher Gary Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman were awaiting their test results, Boone said. 

LeMahieu is asymptomatic.

LeMahieu is asymptomatic. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

“In a couple of those cases…..We had a few guys that came in late that were out of the country, so tests haven’t been processed, to the point where they weren’t out here,” Boone said.

Boone said he expects that Chapman, who showed himself working out at his Miami home on social media during most of the hiatus, and Sanchez, whose social media posts during the last three months had him in his native Dominican Republic, on the field in the next few days. 

“Their tests were just a day later and we’re waiting on results so they’re still in the intake process,” Boone said. “It’s not good or bad. It’s just they haven’t been in taking it yet. And we have a few of our players that have come in a little late.”

MLB announced 31 positive tests through the first batch of testing on Thursday, which spanned over 19 teams. The Yankees were not sure that LeMahieu and Cessa were among those being added to the COVID-19 injury list because they had yet to do their intake testing. 

Boone was cautious in answering questions about the testing, as health privacy laws prevent teams from disclosing coronavirus status without a player’s permission. 

Players reported to New York on July 1 and were tested for COVID-19 and antibodies in order to clear them for workouts under the new protocols. The Yankees had their workout split up with major leaguers in the late afternoon and players that are expected to be on the taxi squad after. Coaches wore masks on the field, as did some players. They worked in smaller groups around the stadium. 

“It’s different, definitely different,” Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery said. “But it’s just like we’d be working in Tampa with an empty stadium. So I’m trying to just kind of get my work in and be as safe as I can also. Everybody here is pretty locked and happy to be here.”


Kristie Ackert is the Daily News’ Yankees beat writer and columnist.

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