NEW YORK — Rejoining the Yankees in the Bronx this week, after a stint on the COVID-19 injured list, it didn't take long for Anthony Rizzo to get back into the starting lineup.
Rizzo was reinstated to the active roster on Wednesday, starting at first base and hitting second for New York in the Bombers' series finale against the Boston Red Sox.
The first baseman last played on August 7, testing positive for the virus and abruptly halting his historic first impression in a Yankees uniform.
Asked if Rizzo will have any limitations, coming back from a case of the virus, manager Aaron Boone said it'll be a fluid situation. The slugger will likely be the recipient of a few extra days off as he readjusts to playing everyday.
"I think that's probably the one thing we'll have to watch, is the stamina part of things," Boone said. "There'll probably a little bit of a build up for him."
Through nine games with the Yankees—since he was acquired from the Cubs ahead of the trade deadline—Rizzo is hitting .281/.400/.563 (9-for-32) with three home runs and six RBI.
To get ready for his highly-anticipated return on Wednesday, Rizzo fielded grounders at his position, took batting practice and tracked pitches while his teammates threw in the bullpen on Tuesday. Rizzo showed symptoms of the virus while he was on the COVID IL, preventing the first baseman from maintaining baseball activity during his time away from the team.
That in mind, these first few days back with the club have been valuable in his process of ramping up, allowing the slugger to engage his muscle memory.
“I just need to see pitches, really,” Rizzo told reporters this week. “I’ve gotten a little bit of time to just bounce right back the next couple days, so I’m not too concerned."
Now that his tired and achey symptoms are in the rearview mirror—along with a loss of taste and smell—Rizzo is poised to make an immediate impact in pinstripes, picking up where he left off earlier this month.
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