Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa test positive for coronavirus

DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa both tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating outside New York, Aaron Boone said Saturday.

The Yankees manager said LeMahieu has been asymptomatic, while Cessa has experienced “very mild symptoms.”

Boone added he was “hopeful” the two would only be out a short time.

Neither player had been placed on the COVID-19 injured list because they had yet to go through the MLB-administered intake screenings.

Aroldis Chapman and Gary Sanchez were also not at the first day of the Yankees spring training 2.0 in The Bronx, but Boone said that was because they were still awaiting test results.

“It’s not good or bad,’’ Boone said.

As COVID-19 cases spike across the nation, the league is trying to figure out how to play a season during a pandemic. Stars such as the Angels’ Mike Trout have expressed misgivings about playing, while the Dodgers’ David Price announced Saturday he would opt out.

DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa
DJ LeMahieu and Luis CessaN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg, Paul J. Bereswill

LeMahieu is slated to be the Yankees’ starting second baseman after a stellar first season in The Bronx after signing a two-year deal prior to last season.

With Gleyber Torres sliding over to shortstop after the departure of Didi Gregorius to Philadelphia, LeMahieu’s role is set. Cessa has been a serviceable right-handed arm in the bullpen and figures to be called upon again if he’s healthy, with teams needing plenty of arms in their 60-player pool in the shortened season.

So far, no Yankees have opted to not play the abbreviated 60-game regular season due to coronavirus fears.

The Yankees have had experience with COVID-19 since March, when a pair of minor leaguers tested positive and they had to shut down the minor league complex in Tampa. They had four others test positive since then, as well, though LeMahieu and Cessa are the first known positives on their 40-man roster.

They recently signed Matt Duffy to a minor league deal to add to their infield depth, which they might need if LeMahieu is out for any length of time.

Jordan Montgomery said he had no hesitation about whether he would show up for the season.

“It was a no-doubter I would play,’’ Montgomery said Saturday during a Zoom call. “I haven’t pitched in two years [following Tommy John surgery]. Everyone feels the same. We’re too good to waste a year.”

Aaron Hicks, who welcomed a new baby into his family with his girlfriend, also had no hesitation.

“We understand what’s at stake here,’’ Hicks said. “Being able to do my job, play baseball, is something I always want to do.”

Hicks said his family would stay in Arizona for the season.

Though the Yankees could have an advantage if LeMahieu isn’t out long and no other players choose to sit out, Boone declined to look too far ahead.

“It’s gonna be a long process,’’ Boone said. “We have to get through camp, through Opening Day and through the season. It’s really a day at a time.”

He likes his team’s attitude so far, but Boone understands what lies ahead for his team, as they try to navigate this season unlike any other.

“We’re taking it day-by-day,’’ Boone said. “Our guys have an excited frame of mind. We understand the challenges in front of them and the daily protocols we have to follow. They’re very eager and ready to go.”

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