« [Sánchez] tested positive for COVID on the rapid test, ”Boone said Thursday (video). “He didn’t feel well leaving last night and woke up today feeling unwell. He’s positive on the rapid test and he will now take the PCR test which will – we’ll find out the official later tonight. ”
Boone added that from now on, no other player will be unavailable for the Yankees due to positive tests or contact tracing.
Sánchez, 28, is hitting .216 / .329 / .450 with 17 home runs this season, a nice rebound from his nightmarish 2020 season. Sánchez lost the starting spot to replace Kyle Higashioka in April, although he reached .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 starting receiver while Sánchez is sidelined. The Yankees called receiver 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 that have reached the 85% vaccination threshold. Most of the coaches tested positive in May, and 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 have achieved the 85% vaccination rate are benefiting from 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 Thursday night. The two clubs are battling for second place in the American League wild card.