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Yankees' Joey Gallo, Kyle Higashioka Land on COVID-19 List

All of a sudden, the Yankees have a COVID-19 situation on their hands.
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NEW YORK — Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo and catcher Kyle Higashioka were both placed on the COVID-19 injured list just minutes before first pitch of New York's doubleheader on Sunday.

To fill their spots on the team's 26-man roster, the Yankees recalled right-hander David McKay, signing catcher Rob Brantly to a Major League contract. 

Earlier Sunday afternoon, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Gallo was feeling "under the weather" over the last few days, keeping him out of the starting lineup. The expectation was for Gallo to play in Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the White Sox. The outfielder was spotted in New York's clubhouse on Sunday morning, mingling with his teammates. 

Earlier this season, the last remaining Yankees that were unvaccinated received their COVID-19 vaccine. 

In the short term, this COVID-related news means that Jose Trevino will be starting behind the dish more often, no longer platooning while Higashioka is out. In the outfield, Boone could use Marwin Gonzalez more (who got the start in Game 1 on Sunday). Giancarlo Stanton can also continue to play more games on defense, pushing Aaron Judge over to center field, subsequently moving Aaron Hicks to left in Gallo's place. 

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McKay was acquired by the Yankees earlier this spring for cash considerations. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2020, appearing in 26 games over his two-year MLB career.

To help open a spot on the 40-man roster for Brantly, the Yankees transferred backstop Ben Rortvedt to the 60-day injured list. It was recently revealed that Rortvedt underwent left knee surgery—the catcher is expected to be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks until he can return to in-game action. 

Rortvedt was acquired by the Yankees in the Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa trade with the Twins, the deal that sent Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota. 

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