Yankees-Red Sox game postponed Thursday due positive COVID-19 tests in Yankees organization

The second half of the 2021 MLB season is off to a rough start. Thursday's game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox was postponed due to COVID-19 issues, MLB announced Thursday.

The Yankees confirmed the postponement. 

Following positive COVID-19 tests within the Yankees organization, tonight’s game between the Yankees and the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. MLB will continue to provide scheduling updates as available.

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 15, 2021

In a statement, MLB cited positive tests within the Yankees organization as the reason for the postponement. 

The contest was expected to be the first major-league game played after the All-Star break. The game was the only one on the MLB schedule Thursday.

Yankees dealing with positive COVID-19 tests

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said there are three positive COVID-19 tests among the players and three pending tests, also among the players.

Brian Cashman: All positives and expected positives all within the player ranks.

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 15, 2021

The three players who are confirmed positives — Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes, and Wandy Peralta — were all fully vaccinated, according to Cashman.

The three confirmed positive cases — Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes, and Wandy Peralta — were all vaccinated, Brian Cashman said. Two J&J, one mRNA.

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 15, 2021

The team placed both Cortes and Peralta on the COVID-19 Injured List prior to the game. Cashman said the players who tested positive were doing OK.

Good news from Brian Cashman: “As of right now, everybody is ok.”

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 15, 2021

With uncertainty around the other tests, the Yankees canceled batting practice prior to Thursday's game. 

Yankees have canceled pregame batting practice as they work through COVID-19 testing and health and safety protocols.

— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 15, 2021

Yankees positive tests could impact entire league

There's potential for the Yankees' positive tests to impact the entire league. Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers reportedly told ESPN's Marly Rivera one of the Yankees who attended the All-Star Game tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, Devers — who also went to the All-Star Game — was told he would have to undergo testing to make sure he doesn't have the virus.

Rafael Devers just told me that he was asked to not do interviews pregame because one of the #Yankees who went to the All-Star Game tested positive. Devers said that he is going to undergo testing this afternoon.

— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) July 15, 2021

Yankees reached 85 percent COVID-19 vaccine threshold 

The Yankees are among the teams to reach MLB's 85 percent COVID-19 vaccine threshold of tier 1 employees. Teams that reach an 85 percent vaccination rate among tier 1 employees are allowed to relax COVID-19 protocols. 

Tier 1 consists of players, coaches, team physicians and other key staff within the organization. While the Yankees were able to reach that 85 percent threshold, some of the team's players are not vaccinated, according to Jon Heyman.

While the Yankees reached the 85 percent vaccination threshold of tier 1 personnel not all their players were vaccinated.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 15, 2021

It's unclear how many Yankees tested positive for COVID-19, though MLB's use of the word "tests" suggests multiple people in the organization tested positive for the virus. 

MLB has not postponed Friday's game between the teams, and will likely wait until the Yankees perform additional testing and contact tracing to make a call on that game and additional games in the series. 

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