The New York Yankees’ top closer is one of latest athletes to test positive for COVID-19.
Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday afternoon. Though he’s experiencing mild symptoms, Boone says the left-hander “overall is doing well,” according to The New York Post’s Dan Martin.
Chapman told ESPN’s Marly Rivera confirmed he is doing well and experiencing “very little symptoms.” He says his right-hand man and personal trainer also were tested for COVID-19, though their tests returned negative.
That said, Boone says Chapman will be away from the team “for the foreseeable future.”
Chapman must return two negative tests, be fever-free for at least 72 hours and receive clearance from a doctor before he’s allowed to rejoin the team, per Major League Baseball’s new health and safety protocols.
With less than two weeks until Opening Day, however, Chapman might not be prepared to play. So, who will the Yankees lean on should the southpaw be unavailable to begin the season?
Boone says Zack Britton “naturally could fill the role” if Chapman wasn’t “able to go,” according to Rivera. Britton has 145 career saves in nine MLB seasons, including six with the Yankees, three of which came in 2019.
The Yankees help kick off MLBs abbreviated 2020 season with a primetime matchup against the World Series champion Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.