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TAMPA — A New York Yankees minor-league player has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Yankees train in Tampa, with their minor-league camp held on Himes Avenue two blocks south of Raymond James Stadium. Major-league camp is held at Steinbrenner Field and its accompanying fields off Dale Mabry Highway.'
The unidentified player would be the first known case of coronavirus in professional baseball. Three NBA players have tested positive in the past week, prompting nearly every professional sports league to suspend games and postpone their seasons.
Yankees minor-leaguers have been told to remain in quarantine for the next two weeks, according to an MLB Network report. Many minor-leaguers stay in a team hotel during spring training.
According to the Associated Press, the Yankees said the player had spent his entire time at the minor-league complex. This checks out.
A player in minor-league camp wouldn’t come into contact with as many people as in big-league camp, especially in terms of fans. The minor-league games are held on back fields and draw mainly team personnel, scouts and family members. Minor-league players, however, are sometimes summoned to play in major-league spring training games.
To prevent mass gatherings that games would create, Major League Baseball canceled the remainder of spring training games and has postponed the start of the season at least two weeks, though it seems more likely that the season wouldn’t start until the beginning of May at the earliest. Before that, the league advised players against taking items from fans, like pens and balls to sign autographs, and closed clubhouse access to media and non-essential personnel.
In a memo sent out Sunday, Major League Baseball told teams to send all players not listed on teams’ 40-man rosters — which would include a majority of minor-league players — to their homes and send non-essential personnel to the team’s home city. The league also mandated for spring training facilities to remain open for major-league players to work out and receive treatment.
Last week, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was diagnosed with influenza A after complaining of a fever.
Once spring training games were initially canceled, players were given the option of remaining in their spring training city, going to their major-league city or going to their home town. The Yankees’ major-league club voted as a team to remain in Tampa and conduct informal workouts together.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.
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