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Yankees place Gio Urshela on COVID injured list, recall Mike Ford

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Urshela ideally shouldn’t be out for long, but Ford will take his place in the meantime.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Third baseman Gio Urshela was a late scratch from the Yankees’ lineup shortly before the start of their afternoon game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Since Aaron Boone’s media availability had already ended, at first it seemed that we wouldn’t learn why Urshela was removed until after the contest.

Fortunately, the Yankees quickly cleared this up, as Urshela is not injured in the traditional baseball sense — no oblique strains or back injuries here. He’s actually just experiencing some side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, which the majority of the Yankees took on Wednesday night. So he is now on the COVID injured list with Mike Ford called up from the taxi squad to fill in off the bench. DJ LeMahieu shifted over from second to third to cover Urshela, and Tyler Wade took Gio’s spot in the lineup.

Having experienced some of these side effects myself, I totally get it. They’re fairly standard. The taxi squads still exist in 2021 for a reason, and if Urshela needs an extra day or two (or more!) to get back to normal, then the team has people ready to take his place. Ford struggled in spring training, but it’s honestly a long shot that he’ll actually appear for the Yankees. One nice aspect about the COVID injured list is that there is no minimum stay, so once Urshela is good to go, he can pop right back in the lineup. The Yankees are fortunate enough to have a deep lineup anyway, so Urshela can take his time.

Update

After the game, Ford was sent back to the alternate site. Still no definite word yet on Urshela other than that Boone is hopeful he’ll be back tomorrow, but it’s some degree of good news anyway.