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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/4/19

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Yankees could set new HR record in 2019; Tulowitzki’s strong spring reason for hope; Hicks scratched from yesterday’s games due to stiff back

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees set the all-time record for team homers last season. Brett Gardner thinks that this year’s squad is primed to set a new one. It’s perfectly reasonable when you think about it; the Yankees hit 267 homers last year even with an injured Aaron Judge and a slumping Gary Sanchez. Just having those two back at full strength for the entire season would make a new home run record more likely than not. Let’s just hope their prowess with the long ball doesn’t disappear in the playoffs like it did last October.

New York Post | George A. King III: Many fans, including the present author, were skeptical of the Troy Tulowitzki signing. So far in spring training, Tulowitzki has done his darnedest to quell such doubts, going 3-for-6 with two homers in three games and making strong defensive plays. Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that Tulo’s stats, be they standard or peripheral, were terrible in his last extended time on the field. However, with better health, there is the chance that the former Rockies star could recover to 2015-16 levels of production, in which case he would be a worthy regular. I’m still skeptical of the odds of such a comeback happening, but it would be undeniably cool if Tulowitzki proved me dead wrong.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: The Yankees seemed to be enjoying an injury-free spring training so far. Unfortunately, that claim can no longer be made. Aaron Hicks was scratched from the Yankees’ split-squad games on Sunday due to a stiff back. Aaron Boone downplayed the severity of the injury, saying that he expects Hicks to return to action on Tuesday. Here’s hoping that Hicks is able to fully recover and avoid further aggravations for the remainder of spring training.