7 Yanks coaches, staff have virus, Torres out as precaution

National Sports

New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres is congratulated by manager Aaron Boone after Torres drove in the winning run in the 11th inning of the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees won 4-3. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres was kept out of Wednesday night’s starting lineup at Tampa Bay as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s coaching and support staff reached seven.

Manager Aaron Boone said MLB’s Joint COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee is waiting and reviewing a number of test results. The members of New York’s traveling party have been tested at least three times each since Tuesday.

“I know everybody is going to read into that but hopefully it’s nothing, it’s more just getting all the information,” Boone said of Torres.

Boone said the Yankees expect to receive an update about Torres on Wednesday night. He added that Torres tested positive for COVID-19 in December and has been vaccinated.

It was also confirmed by Boone that pitching coach Matt Blake has joined third base Phil Nevin and first base coach Reggie Willits as members of the coaching staff testing positive for the virus. A couple additional staff members had positive tests confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total there to four.

Six of the seven are asymptomatic. All are fully vaccinated.

“We’re seeing the vaccinations also kind of blunt the effects of the virus,” Boone said. “We’re also learning as we go and getting informed as what we need to do exactly and just try to do as best we can to be able to make quick adjustments on the fly. Just doing the best we can with it all.”

The Yankees on April 30 were able to relax MLB protocols after reaching an 85 percent vaccination rate among players and staff such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers.

“We’ve been dealing with this thing now for over a year,” Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon said. “We’re just going to roll with the punches and try to protect each other, and do our responsibility to keep everyone safe. But we’re here and we’re to play.”

Both Boone and Rays manager Kevin Cash said the communication between the teams and MLB has been good.

“First of all you hope they’re OK,” Cash said. “We’ve got some very intelligent people and the right doctors that are advising the right way to go about things.”

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