Closer Aroldis Chapman becomes the third member of the New York Yankees to test positive for the coronavirus.
According to Erik Boland of Newsday, Boone said Chapman has mild symptoms and that he won’t be around “for the foreseeable future.”
Boone said Aroldis Chapman has tested positive. He has mild symptoms, Boone said. "He will not be here for the foreseeable future."
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 11, 2020
Chapman is now the third Yankee, along with pitcher Luis Cessa and second baseman DJ LeMahieu, to come down with the virus that has wreaked havoc on a global scale.
According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, once the Yankees learned of Chapman’s positive test, they conducted an investigation to identify the team personnel and teammates who came into close contact with him.
However, the organization has yet to reveal how many people were affected.
Once the Yankees learned of Chapman’s positive test on Thursday, they conducted a contact tracing investigation to identity the teammates/staffers who had close contact with him. The Yankees didn’t specify how many people were impacted.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 11, 2020
Chapman will need to quarantine for at least 14 days before commencing in any talks involving an eventual return to the ballclub.
The Yankees will be taking on the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals in the first game of the season on July 23. Chapman will miss that game and likely at least several more.
Chapman is arguably the best closer in the game and a key contributor to the Yankees, who will seek to go all the way in this abbreviated season. His teammates and fans alike hope he’s able to undergo a swift recovery.
The 32-year-old was an All-Star in 2019, having posted a 2.21 ERA, 202 ERA+, 2.28 FIP, 1.105 WHIP, and 13.4 SO/9 while striking out 85 batters and recording 37 saves in 57.0 innings pitched.
In Chapman’s absence, Zack Britton will likely take over closing duties and possibly share the responsibility with Tommy Kahnle.