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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/20/22

Aaron Judge hopes to break records in front of home fans; Gerrit Cole frustrated by homers; Anthony Volpe could shift to second base.

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New York Mets v. New York Yankees Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Aaron Judge has been his stoic self as he’s marched toward history, and after hitting numbers 58 and 59 this weekend, he made about as strong an allusion to the records he’s chasing as he’s made all year. “If it happens during a win, that would be great. If I get a chance to do it at home, that would be great, too” Judge admitted in Milwaukee. Judge has gotten close enough to Roger Maris’ American League mark that he’s finally acknowledged his place in history, but even then, he framed it from the standpoint of getting the Yankees a win. As consistently incredible as he’s been on the field, Judge has been just as consistent in his muted off-field messaging this year.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Gerrit Cole acknowledged his struggles with the long ball, after his outing in Milwaukee saw two more balls fly over the fence. The pitcher himself seems flummoxed by the problem, stating “I don’t really have an answer… In some cases, it’s kind of remarkable. I need to be better.” Manager Aaron Boone theorized that hitters are selling out for specific pitches and for power against Cole, but that in itself likely doesn’t fully explain this sudden spike in homers.

New York Post | Ryan Glasspiegel: John Sterling will be on the mic for WFAN for the Yankees’ last 16 games of the regular season. Ryan Ruocco was slated to next week’s series on the road against the Blue Jays, but Sterling decided the possibility of calling a historic Judge home run was too much to pass up. The 84-year-old Sterling has drastically cut back on his road announcing this year, but will make the trip to Toronto.

The Athletic | Ken Rosenthal: (subscription required) In his weekly column, Rosenthal weighed in on the toughest MLB awards decisions, and decided that the AL MVP race (Judge vs. Shohei Ohtani) was not the hardest one, thanks to Judge’s September heroics. Rosenthal also mentions Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ top shortstop prospect. Scouts reportedly think Volpe will soon shift to second or third base, given fellow top prospect Oswald Peraza’s strong shortstop defense, as well as the Yankees’ apparent fondness for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who doesn’t hit free agency until after 2023.