Sports

Boone: Yanks have 7 COVID positives on staff

The New York Yankees have confirmed seven COVID-19 positives on their coaching and support staff, manager Aaron Boone announced Wednesday.

The new positives include pitching coach Matt Blake. The Yankees announced Tuesday that third-base coach Phil Nevin and first-base coach Reggie Willits had tested positive for COVID-19.

Six of the seven people who have tested positive are asymptomatic, Boone said. All seven people who tested positive have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

“We’re seeing the vaccinations also kind of blunt the effects of the virus,” Boone said. “We’re also learning as we go and getting informed as what we need to do exactly and just try to do as best we can to be able to make quick adjustments on the fly. Just doing the best we can with it all.”

In addition, shortstop Gleyber Torres, who also has been vaccinated, is being held out of the lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays out of an “abundance of caution” while the team awaits test results. Tyler Wade will replace him at shortstop.

The members of New York’s traveling party have been tested at least three times each since Tuesday.

“I know everybody is going to read into that, but hopefully it’s nothing,” Boone said of Torres. “It’s more just getting all the information.”

Boone said the Yankees expect to receive an update about Torres on Wednesday night. He added that Torres tested positive for COVID-19 in December.

In a statement, the New York State Department of Health said it has talked with Major League Baseball and the Yankees “to get a better understanding of where and when these coaches were vaccinated.”

“While there have been anecdotal reports of New Yorkers who have had a positive COVID test 14 or more days after receiving their last vaccine dose, DOH is investigating those cases along with the ones linked to the Yankees further to determine if they meet the formal CDC definition of vaccine breakthrough,” the statement said.

The Yankees on April 30 were able to relax MLB protocols after reaching an 85 percent vaccination rate among players and staff such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers.

“We’ve been dealing with this thing now for over a year,” Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon said. “We’re just going to roll with the punches and try to protect each other, and do our responsibility to keep everyone safe. But we’re here and we’re to play.”

Both Boone and Rays manager Kevin Cash said the communication between the teams and MLB has been good.

“First of all you hope they’re OK,” Cash said. “We’ve got some very intelligent people and the right doctors that are advising the right way to go about things.”

ESPN’s Marly Rivera and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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