NEW YORK Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa threw a 31-pitch bullpen on Monday as he returned from a layoff caused by a positive test for the coronavirus.
The 28-year-old right-hander is not sure how he became infected. He had been in Arizona, where he lives with his girlfriend, and he and his girlfriend both tested positive before he was scheduled to travel to New York for the resumption of training.
Cessa said he felt sinus problems but no fever during his bout with COVID-19.
While waiting to recover, he worked out with equipment in his garage and bought a net and took it to a park to play catch.
I just tried to stay in shape, he said.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu, the other Yankees player sidelined by a positive test for the virus, rejoined the Yankees and made his exhibition return on Sunday. After going 0 for 2 and playing three innings in the field against the New York Mets, he was back at second base against Philadelphia on Monday and was grazed on the left thigh leading off the first by Vince Velasquez.
Left-hander James Paxton threw 84 pitches over five innings in a simulated game and is expected to pitch the second game of the season at Washington on Saturday, two days after Gerrit Cole starts the opener. Lefties J.A. Happ and and Jordan Montgomery also figure to be part of the initial rotation, likely to be joined the second turn through by right-hander Masahiro Tanaka after he builds up in his return from getting hit by a line drive during practice on July 4.
Tanaka is to throw batting practice on Tuesday.
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