Anthony Rizzo, the New York Yankees’ latest participant to check optimistic for COVID-19

New York Yankees’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo tested positive for COVID-19, manager Aaron Boone said on Sunday.

Boone said Rizzo, who turned 32 on Sunday, has some symptoms but “is fine”. Rizzo was placed on the COVID-19-related casualty list.

Rizzo tested positive after Saturday’s game where he went 0v4 in the Yankees 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Rizzo joins catcher Gary Sanchez and starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery as Yankees players to test positive for the virus recently.

Cole tested positive on Monday, Montgomery tested positive on Tuesday, and Sanchez was put on the COVID-19 list on Thursday. Boone said Cole, Montgomery, and Sanchez are feeling better.

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Players who test positive for COVID-19 will be placed on the side for at least 10 days before being allowed to return, as per MLB protocols.

The outbreak came after the Yankees returned from six games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins in Florida, where COVID-19 cases are rising. Rizzo made his Yankees debut on July 30th in Miami.

“I think a lot came from Florida, where we were in that wave of them,” Boone said. “It’s a little bit of you that you don’t know when and where it’s spreading.”

At least 85% of New York players are vaccinated, which is easing restrictions, but the Yankees have still been hit hard, and Boone said the team will have talks about being cautious on his upcoming six-game road trip.

First baseman Luke Voit was activated from the injured list on Sunday and replaced Rizzo in the line-up for the series finale against the Seattle Mariners. Sidelined by an infection in his left knee, Voit hits .241 with three homers and 11 RBIs. He led the majors with 22 homers in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic.

“He feels great,” said Boone. “As you know, he’s been feeling great for about a week now and has had some at-bats so he’s ready to go and I think I’m happy to be here.”

Rizzo, who was taken over by the Chicago Cubs by the Yankees before close of trading, hits .281 with three home runs and six RBIs in nine games since joining New York.

Rizzo, a cancer survivor, told the Cubs in June that he would like to see more “data” before deciding whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Boone didn’t want to speculate on a player’s vaccination status.

“A large percentage of us make it obvious, but I won’t go into that anymore,” said Boone.

In addition to the four most recent positive tests, outfielder Aaron Judge, third baseman Gio Urshela, catcher Kyle Higashioka and helpers Wandy Peralta and Jonathan Loaisiga have also tested positive for COVID-19 since the All-Star break.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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