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Yankees Place Clay Holmes on COVID-19 Injured List

KANSAS CITY — The Yankees' third COVID-19 outbreak of the season continues to grow.

Prior to first pitch on Wednesday afternoon in Kansas City, New York placed right-hander Clay Holmes on the COVID-19 injured list. 

Holmes hasn't tested positive for the virus yet, but he was showing symptoms.

The reliever is the fifth player to land on the COVID IL this month, joining starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, catcher Gary Sánchez and first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Each of those four players have tested positive for the virus.

Right-handed reliever Brooks Kriske was activated off New York's taxi squad to replace Holmes on the active roster. 

Holmes was acquired by the Yankees ahead of the trade deadline in a deal with the Pirates, sending infielders Hoy Park and Diego Castillo to Pittsburgh. While he may not be the biggest name in New York's bullpen, the right-hander has been solid through his first few weeks in pinstripes.

Through seven appearances, Holmes has allowed just two earned runs to score (2.16 ERA over 8.1 innings pitched) while striking out seven batters.

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This isn't the first time in 2021 the Yankees have had a slew of individuals land on the COVID IL. Back in May, eight personnel tested positive within the organization. That number was initially nine, but it turned out that shortstop Gleyber Torres (who was placed on the COVID IL) had a false positive. 

Last month, six different Yankees players tested positive coming out of the All-Star break, a group including outfielder Aaron Judge, reliever Jonathan Loaisiga and infielder Gio Urshela. 

This latest outbreak makes New York's barrage of injuries even more of a burden. With five players on the COVID-19 injured list, the Yankees have a total of 20 players on the IL. That group includes key contributors like closer Aroldis Chapman, starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Luis Severino, Torres and Urshela. 

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