Yankees' DJ LeMahieu, Luis Cessa Test Positive for COVID-19

Max Goodman

Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone announced Saturday that both DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa have tested positive for COVID-19. 

While LeMahieu is asymptomatic up to this point, Cessa has been experiencing "very mild symptoms," Boone revealed. 

Both players were not present for the Yankees' first workout of Summer Camp this afternoon at Yankee Stadium as they tested positive for the virus prior to returning to New York.

"We're hopeful that it'll be a short time, but they are not here at this point," Boone said. "And so, you know, we'll see how that continues to unfold the next several days."

LeMahieu was an integral component in the Yankees' deep playoff run a year ago, falling just two wins short of a World Series bid. The second baseman led the club in batting average (.327), RBI (102) and runs (109). He finished fourth in the race for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. 

Cessa made 43 relief appearances last season, posting a 4.11 ERA with 75 strikeouts across 81 innings pitched. From an innings standpoint, he was the Bombers' most used relief pitcher by more than 10 frames. 

Two positive coronavirus tests cap off what's been a hectic, and at times scary, afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Shortly after New York began the club's first official workout since MLB's coronavirus-induced shutdown began, right-hander Masahiro Tanaka was struck in the head with a line drive off the bat of teammate Giancarlo Stanton.

The Yankees' hurler was pitching in a simulated game when the incident occurred. Tanaka has since been released from the hospital. His CT scan came back negative and the concussion-like symptoms he had experiencing shortly after being hit have since dissipated. 

Boone confirmed that Cessa and LeMahieu are the only two members of the Yankees who have gone through intake testing and have tested positive for the virus. He explained that some players are still going through that process after reporting to camp late due to travel delays. 

Last month, four Yankees staff members received positive diagnoses down at the Bombers' facility in Tampa. Those positive cases played a role in Major League Baseball's decision to shutdown big-league complexes in Florida and Arizona and move the resumption of Spring Training to home ballparks across the country. 

Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole – who welcomed a baby boy earlier this week – said that while he understands the dangers presented by the pandemic, he's confident in the organization's extensive health and safety protocols.

"So far the testing has been robust," Cole said on Friday. "I certainly have confidence in my teammates and the Yankees staff to keep us safe."

Southpaw Jordan Montgomery, who took the mound Saturday after Tanaka's simulated game was abruptly cut short, shared a similar sentiment to Cole. When deciding to play this year, he didn't have to think twice. 

"It was a no-doubter I was going to play," Montgomery said bluntly. "I haven't pitched in two years so I've been excited to get out there. I think everyone else feels the same way on the team. We're too good to waste a year. I think we have a real shot so that's that."

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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