HOUSTON – New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman became the latest high-profile player to test positive for the coronavirus, his diagnosis announced Saturday hours after the Houston Astros canceled another practice due to virus concerns.
In New York, manager Aaron Boone said Chapman wouldn't “be here for the foreseeable future.” Boone said the left-handed reliever “overall was doing well” despite experiencing mild symptoms.
The Yankees are scheduled to start the virus-delayed season on July 23 at the World Series champion Washington Nationals. The AL champ Yankees already were missing star infielder DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Luis Cessa, who both tested positive last week and are still isolating at home.
Boone wouldn’t say whether Chapman had been at Yankee Stadium since throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday. He said the team the team had gone through contact tracing protocols, and no other players or personnel would be forced to isolate because of Chapman’s positive test.
In Houston, the Astros canceled their workout after learning that a staff member could have been exposed to a person outside the organization with the coronavirus.
It’s the second time this week the Astros have wiped out a practice session because of concerns about the pandemic. Houston also scrapped its Monday workout because of delays with testing results due to the holiday weekend, as did some other teams around the majors.
Houston general manager James Click said they decided to cancel Saturday’s workout as a precaution.
“As part of MLB’s testing and reporting plan, we were alerted that a staff member was potentially exposed to a COVID-positive individual outside the organization,” Click said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled today’s workout. We are working closely with MLB and our team physicians to follow the established testing and cleaning protocols so that we can safely bring our players and staff back to the field as soon as possible.”