The New York Yankees have lost another player to COVID-19. Manager Aaron Boone announced Thursday that starting catcher Gary Sánchez has tested positive for the virus. New York is currently without starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, both of whom tested positive earlier this week.
"[Sánchez] has tested positive for COVID on the rapid test," Boone said Thursday (video). "He didn't feel well leaving last night and woke up today not feeling great. He's positive on the rapid test and he'll now have the PCR test that will -- we'll find out the official later tonight."
Boone added that as of now, no other players will be unavailable to the Yankees due to positive tests or contact tracing.
Sánchez, 28, is hitting .216/.329/.450 with 17 home runs this season, a nice bounceback from his nightmarish 2020 season. Sánchez did lose the starting job to backup Kyle Higashioka in April, though he's hit .243/.347/.521 with 12 home runs since May 27 to reclaim it.
Higashioka, who himself tested positive for COVID last month, will take over as the starting catcher while Sánchez is sidelined. The Yankees called up catcher Rob Brantly to replace Sánchez on the active roster.
The Yankees have now had three separate COVID outbreaks this year despite being among the teams to hit the 85 percent vaccination threshold. Most of the coaching staff tested positive in May, then six players, including Aaron Judge, tested positive right after the All-Star break in July. Now Cole, Montgomery, and Sánchez have tested positive.
Teams that hit the 85 percent vaccination enjoy relaxed COVID guidelines on masking, dining out, and other social aspects.
The Yankees open an important four-game series with the Mariners at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. The two clubs are fighting for the second American League wild card spot.