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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/16/21

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Judge headlines list of Yankees testing positive for COVID, nixing Thursday’s game; Trey Amburgey promoted from Triple-A; Hoy Park added to taxi squad; David Cone’s future

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN | ESPN News Services: The second half of the season could not have gotten off to a worse start yesterday, as the only game scheduled for the day — a much-anticipated matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox — was postponed due to three positive tests. In addition to reliever Jonathan Loaisiga, relievers Wandy Peralta and Nestor Cortes Jr. tested positive and were subsequently added to the COVID-19 injured list. Moreover, Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Kyle Higashioka are currently in COVID protocols, and although the tests were still pending as of last night, Brian Cashman said that he expects all three to come back positive. This is the second outbreak that the Yankees have had this season, despite the fact that they were one of the first teams to reach the 85-percent vaccinated threshold.

At this point in time, we know that five of the six players have been vaccinated, and the only unvaccinated player is the only one that is showing symptoms. Please, everybody, even if you’re vaccinated, be careful, and if you’re not yet vaccinated, please go as soon as you can; the new Delta variant is no joke.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: In what was the first hint of last night’s mess, the Yankees announced early yesterday afternoon that they would activate Zack Britton and promote Triple-A outfielder Trey Amburgey, with Cortes’s and Peralta’s trips to the COVID IL being the corresponding moves. The 26-year-old Amburgey, who will be making his MLB debut, has been lighting it up for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this season, posting a .960 OPS in 38 games; moreover, he had an on-base streak of 42 games that dates back to the end of the 2019 season.

While the circumstances of Amburgey’s promotion aren’t exactly ideal, former Yankees catcher Erik Kratz is very excited for his former teammate, whom he has been advocating for on social media for months.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: With Urshela now on the injured list, the Yankees infield depth is suddenly looking pretty sparse. Fortunately, the Yankees have added hot-hitting shortstop Hoy Park to the taxi squad, although it is not clear whether the team had made the decision before or after the positive tests came in. (Triple-A catcher Kellin Deglan is also on said taxi squad.)

Although Park is not ranked among the organization’s top 30 prospects, he has seen his stock skyrocket since being promoted to Triple-A Scranton, with whom he has posted a .325/.475/.541 triple slash with 8 home runs in 206 plate appearances.

New York Post | Andrew Marchand: YES Network head of production and programming John Filippelli ranks David Cone as the best baseball analyst in the game — a sentiment that I agree with — but is there more for the former pitcher to do in the game of baseball? When the Yankees were most recently in the market for a pitching coach, Cone interviewed for the job (it eventually went to Matt Blake), and many executives believe that the broadcaster’s ability to weave together modern analytics with traditional baseball knowledge, which makes him such a treat to listen to on the broadcast, would make him an excellent asset for any front office or coaching staff in baseball. I, for one, do not argue with that assessment.

We end today’s rather depressing news dump with an uplifting story: Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier is now engaged to Kaylee Gambadoro, posting photos from the The Fleur Room, where he got down on one knee — in sneakers, no less — along with the caption, “Forever awaits us.” Congratulations, Clint!