The Yankees confirmed on Sunday that a minor league player from the organization has tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known case of a professional baseball player testing positive, but it likely won’t be the last.
This was bound to happen sooner or later. As rapidly as this virus continues to spread across the country it was only a matter of time before a player at spring training tested positive. And if you’re a Yankees fan I’m sure it wasn’t surprising at all to see them be the first major league team with a confirmed positive case.
In response to the bad news, the Yankees have told all of their minor league players to self-quarantine for the next two weeks, according to reports.
The Yankees don’t plan on revealing the name of the player, but GM Brian Cashman says he is recovering well. He will continue to be isolated and the Yankees minor league complex will remain closed after it was shut down on Friday.
Some minor leaguers have been fortunate enough to train at Steinbrenner Field with the big league club but not this player according to the Yankees head of PR. He hasn’t had any interactions or contact with the major league players.
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Earlier on Sunday Marlins beat writer Joe Frisario tweeted that the organization and Yankee legend Derek Jeter have told their players to avoid large group gatherings and discouraged them from taking part in informal workouts. It would behoove every player at every spring training camp to do the same.
The Yankees apparently still plan on leaving the major league complex open to the player but on a more limited basis. Whether their big leaguers will choose to work out at the facilities together is unknown, but they will all have the option to do so if they want.
Plans could easily change however and at any given moment major league baseball could force all teams to shut down camps completely. With every passing day that’s the direction, it looks like we’re heading in especially if more positive cases are revealed.
As for when we might see baseball again I think it’s safe to assume now that there is no chance the regular season is going to begin on April 9th. That was the hope on Thursday before any player tested positive but even then it never seemed likely.
Now that the MLB has their first confirmed case there’s really no way of knowing when this all going to end.