ANAHEIM -- Major League Baseball has announced the 31 winners of the 2014 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, recognizing baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.
The Yankees' contest winner is Elizabeth Tague, who will be recognized in a ceremony on May 17 before the Yankees-Pirates game. Tague will take part in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony, and will receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game.
A lifetime Yankees fan and native of Roselle Park, N.J., Tague was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2011. After undergoing surgery, 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation, she returned to work as a sixth-grade teacher in January 2012, just eight months after her initial diagnosis.
The Honorary Bat Girl winners were selected by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with feedback from a guest judging panel that included Evan Longoria of the Rays, Freddie Freeman of the Braves, Pablo Sandoval of the Giants, country music superstar and Braves fan Jason Aldean, and Sam Ryan, an MLB Network host and reporter.
The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day.
Girardi, Jeter confident shortstop will find stroke
ANAHEIM -- The Yankees have watched Derek Jeter fight through slumps before, and in this final season, Joe Girardi is in no mood to revise the playbook. His plan is to keep writing the captain's name into the lineup and wait for the storm clouds to clear.
Jeter entered play on Monday with two hits in his last 24 at-bats, and hitless in his last 13 at-bats, but Girardi said that he has no plans to bump Jeter down in the lineup. Jeter batted second again on Monday, playing shortstop, as the Yanks opened a three-game series at Angel Stadium.
"People thought it was over before he got his 3,000th hit [in 2011], then he put up another 200-hit season after that," Girardi said. "I understand people's concerns; it's a couple years later. I understand that, but for the most part, we've left him alone and he's figured it out. We need him to do that."
The five-game slump has put a dent in Jeter's batting average, which dropped from .292 on April 26 to .240 entering play on Monday. That stretch included the first 0-for-7 game of Jeter's career on May 2 against the Rays, but Jeter said that he is not worried.
"I feel good. I was swinging the bat pretty good with the exception of the last four or five games -- and one of them counted for like three games," Jeter said. "I feel pretty good, and as long as I feel good, the results are going to be there."
Asked about the chances of dropping Jeter in the lineup, Girardi said that he has not given it any thought.
"We address our lineup every day, but I haven't yet," Girardi said. "He's not the only guy struggling. There are other guys that are struggling in our lineup, and we still put them fourth, fifth, third. We're still doing that. I think it's somewhat early to [make changes]."
Jeter said that he is hearing whispers about his age -- he's 39, and will turn 40 next month -- but is shrugging off those comments, as he has done in the past.
"I guess I was young for the first 20-something games, and I was old the past four or five," Jeter said. "I'm going to try to get young again."
Jeter points out that this is not the first time he has struggled over a brief period. It was a decade ago, in 2004, that Jeter memorably shattered an 0-for-32 slump with a homer. Jeter is confident that he will be able to deliver a big hit to break this skid as well.
"For me, it's a feel thing. I want to feel good," Jeter said. "If I feel good, the results will be there. Sometimes you feel terrible and you have results, but I'd rather feel good. When I feel good, I trust the results will come."
Yanks activate Ryan, Pineda goes to DL
ANAHEIM -- The Yankees activated infielder Brendan Ryan from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game against the Angels, as Michael Pineda's 10-game suspension expires.
Pineda accepted his suspension after being caught with pine tar on his neck during an April 23 start against the Red Sox in Boston, then sustained a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle in his upper back while throwing a simulated game in Tampa, Fla.
As such, Pineda goes straight to the disabled list, and is expected to be out until late May or early June. Manager Joe Girardi said that playing a man short due to the suspension has not had a major impact on how he navigates games nightly.
"I think it's probably had our bullpen turn over more," Girardi said. "Maybe where you might give a guy a day of rest and play someone else, you can't. I think the biggest adjustment has been the bullpen, where that sixth and seventh guy have rotated a lot in the absence of Pineda and only having 24 players."
Ryan, who was sidelined this spring with a cervical spine nerve injury, has played in seven Minor League rehabilitation games with Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton, going 8-for-25 (.320) with four runs, two RBIs and five walks.
• Alfredo Aceves, who threw 72 pitches in relief of CC Sabathia on Sunday, likely will not be available until Friday at Milwaukee. Girardi suggested that he could use Aceves for a brief outing on Wednesday against the Angels in an emergency.
Girardi also suggested that Aceves could be in play to pick up a start after hurling 5 1/3 innings of scoreless, three-hit ball against the Rays.
"We haven't really talked about it, but anytime someone pitches well over distance, it's going to trigger a thought," Girardi said.
• The Yankees have announced their probable starters for the weekend series against the Brewers at Miller Park. Masahiro Tanaka will start on Friday, Sabathia will go on Saturday, and David Phelps is scheduled to pitch on Sunday.