The Yankees made their official return to the field Saturday for the first team workout since the pandemic ended spring training. New York got off to a painful start. Pitching in a simulated game, Masahiro Tanaka was struck in the head by a line drive hit by slugger Giancarlo Stanton. And two players missed the Yankee Stadium practice after testing positive for the coronavirus, the New York Times reports. DJ LeMahieu, an infielder, and Luis Cessa, a pitcher, are isolating at home. The team said that Cessa has had only "very mild" symptoms and that LeMahieu has been asymptomatic. They won't be able to rejoin the team until their coronavirus tests come back negative. Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees' closer, and catcher Gary Sanchez missed the workout because they hadn't finished the required virus testing, per ESPN.
Tanaka was released from a hospital Saturday night. "Masa had concussion-like symptoms that have since dissipated," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. "He went through a battery of tests at the hospital; everything checked out well." It didn't look good at the time. Stanton's line drive hit Tanaka on the right side of head. The pitcher fell to the ground, where he stayed for at least five minutes, holding his head. His teammates were shaken, watching in silence as medical personnel rushed to help the All-Star. Stanton went into a crouch at the plate, with his hand on his head. Tanaka later walked off the field with trainers at his side. Boone was relieved that Tanaka appears to not be seriously injured. "In a lot of ways, we’re hopeful we avoided something really bad happening," he said. Tanaka had not been using a screen often placed in front of the pitcher in practice for protection; after Tanaka was hit, Jordan Montgomery asked for one. (More MLB stories.)