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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/18/19

Ramifications of the Aaron Hicks injury; J.A. Happ continues to struggle; CC Sabathia on the verge of history

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks will not be ready for Opening Day. Aside from the fact that this is an obvious bummer in and of itself, Hicks’ injury has some notable roster repercussions. Ackert identifies three such possible implications. They include Greg Bird and Luke Voit both making the roster, Brett Gardner getting reps in center, and Tyler Wade making the team as their utilityman. Whatever happens, one thing is certain - the Yankees’ depth is going to be tested way earlier than expected. Let’s hope the Yankees’ other stars can carry the load, as they are certainly capable of doing. | Randy Miller: If you haven’t noticed, J.A. Happ isn’t having the best spring. After allowing three runs in three innings in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Happ’s Grapefruit League ERA now sits at an unsightly 7.94 mark. However, Happ himself says there’s no need to worry, attributing his struggles to the result of experimenting with new pitch grips. For what it’s worth, both Happ and Aaron Boone feel like the movement on his pitches is coming along well. I guess we’ll just have to see. | Matt Kelly: Every season is another page in baseball history, with records being challenged and broken every year. This article picks up some notable career milestones that could be reached by the still-active greats of the game. Included is CC Sabathia’s quest for 3,000 strikeouts, of which he currently sits just 14 short. The big lefty isn’t really a strikeout pitcher anymore, but even so, getting this record should be a matter of when, not if for him. Have the fireworks and Yankeeography ready.