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Yankees place Clay Holmes on COVID-IL, recall Brooks Kriske

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Holmes is the fifth Yankees player to hit the COVID-IL in August and the eleventh since mid-July.

MLB: AUG 09 Yankees at Royals Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Yankees were on a good little run there, weren’t they? It had been a whole ...

/checks notes/

... THREE days since they’d last put a player on the COVID-19 injured list! Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery appear to be on track to return next week, and while Gary Sánchez and Anthony Rizzo aren’t quite as close, they’re both on the mend as well. So maybe the Yankees could finally vacate the COVID-IL, right? Right?

Wrong.

Reliever Clay Holmes is now joining that quartet on the COVID-IL. He was experiencing COVID-like symptoms, so as a precautionary measure, he was put on the shelf. This now essentially counts as an extension of the Yankees’ third COVID outbreak of 2021, following the one that took out several coaches in May and another that hit six players in July. The following players have all spent time on the COVID-IL in 2021:

  • Gleyber Torres (May; false positive)
  • Jonathan Loaisiga (July)
  • Wandy Peralta (July)
  • Nestor Cortes (July)
  • Aaron Judge (July)
  • Gio Urshela (July)
  • Kyle Higashioka (July)
  • Gerrit Cole (August)
  • Jordan Montgomery (August)
  • Gary Sánchez (August)
  • Anthony Rizzo (August)
  • Clay Holmes (August)

The Yankees are still waiting on Holmes’ test results, so there’s an outside chance that this could be a short stay, but given the symptoms (and the Yankees’ luck in 2021), I’m not holding my breath. Holmes was, of course, not a part of the Yankees yet when they had their mass vaccination in April, so there’s no word yet on if he was vaccinated or not. At this point, the Yankees should really just all be wearing masks in the dugout again anyway.

It’s a shame because Holmes had made a strong first impression since coming over from the Pirates in a July 26th trade. Instead, the Yankees have to activate taxi squad reliever Brooks Kriske to the bullpen. The last time that Kriske to the mound in a big league game, he threw four wild pitches in one inning in a truly awful loss to the Red Sox on July 22nd.

Given that the Yankees had to start reliever Lucas Luetge today in a bullpen game — and the fact that their relievers have seen a ton of work in the past week — there’s a very real chance that we may see Kriske today. So prepare yourselves accordingly.

We’ll update this story as needed once Holmes’ test results are in.