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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/9/21

Rizzo tests positive for COVID-19; Voit is back; Torres to have MRI on injured thumb; Urshela eyeing Wednesday return; Severino completes strong rehab outing in Somerset

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Yahoo Sports | Cassandra Negley: First-baseman Anthony Rizzo is the latest player on the Yankees to test positive for COVID-19. Earlier this season as a Chicago Cub, Rizzo, a cancer survivor, told reporters that he opted not to get vaccinated because he was “taking some more time to see the data.” According to manager Aaron Boone, Rizzo is experiencing “light” symptoms. The Yankees have not released any information pertaining to whether the virus poses an extra risk to the first baseman due to his medical history as a cancer survivor.

Rizzo was traded from the Cubs to the Yankees on July 29th, providing an immediate boost to the team. The Yankees will need to wait until he comes off the COVID IL-before benefiting from his talent and energy once again, as Rizzo will need to be quarantined for at least 10 days. In the meantime, the team activated Luke Voit off the IL to fill in at first base.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres exited Sunday’s game against the Mariners in the eighth inning with a left thumb injury. Torres appeared to hurt or jam his thumb when he stole second base and slid head-first into the bag. As of Sunday night, the Yankees were still awaiting MRI results on Torres’ hand. Utility infielder Tyler Wade would likely take over at shortstop if the injury requires Torres to go on the injured list and miss time. Triple-A infielder Andrew Velazquez, who has 70 games of Major League experience, is another option for the Yankees in Torres’ absence.

CBS Sports | Rotowire Staff: The Yankees expect to activate third baseman Gio Urshela off the 10-day injured list on Wednesday, according to manager Aaron Boone. Urshela went on the IL in the beginning of August with a hamstring issue. Rougned Odor will likely play third base until Urshela rejoins the team. Urshela was one of the batters who hit off a rehabbing Corey Kluber during a simulated game over the weekend.

Minor League Baseball: Luis Severino looked sharp in his rehab start for the Somerset Patriots, the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate. Severino struck out five batters over four perfect innings for the Patriots. While the timeline for Sevy’s return to the starting rotation is still uncertain, his strong outing on the mound is a sign of his rehab progress and he has at least one more start on the docket. As planned, Severino exited the game after throwing 48 pitches, but combined with relievers Shawn Semple and Ron Marinaccio to throw the first no-hitter in Somerset Patriots history.