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Floyd on DL; White Sox call up Heath

Starter exited on Saturday due to a flexor muscle strain in right elbow

CHICAGO -- There may soon come an unfortunate point for the White Sox where they have more of their projected regular contributors on the disabled list than on the active roster.

Gordon Beckham (left hand), John Danks (strengthening left shoulder) and Dayan Viciedo (left oblique) already are out of action, and Jeff Keppinger has missed the last two games due to lower back spasms.

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Now, it looks as if starting pitcher Gavin Floyd will be joining them.

Floyd left in the third inning of Saturday's 10-4 loss to the Rays at U.S. Cellular Field due to a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow, after feeling something on his first pitch to Evan Longoria. Prior to Sunday's game, Floyd was placed on the 15-day disabled list. To replace him, they recalled right-hander Deunte Heath from Triple-A Charlotte.

Floyd was on the disabled last season from July 8-23 with right elbow tendinitis and returned to the DL from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12 with a right elbow flexor strain.

As soon as Floyd made the pitch to Longoria with two outs and nobody on base, catcher Tyler Flowers noticed something wrong. Flowers went to the mound for an extended conversation with Floyd, followed by home-plate umpire Chris Guccione, manager Robin Ventura and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider.

After a short talk, Floyd walked off the field with Schneider. Ventura said postgame that the injury looked as if it would send Floyd to the disabled list once again.

"It's looking more like a DL stint, kind of like he had last year," Ventura said. "The hits keep coming. We'll find a way to keep going."

"I could tell he didn't throw it like normal, so I kind of hesitated for a second, kind of replayed it in my head, and decided to go out there," Flowers said. "And of course he didn't want to come out, but he was definitely in pain. So I told him, 'I hate to do it to you, but I've got to call him out here.' Hopefully it's nothing too bad, but it seemed to be pretty painful for him at the time."

Hector Santiago replaced Floyd -- who yielded two runs on two hits over 2 2/3 innings in slipping to 0-4 on the season -- and gave up four runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. Ventura said that Santiago would move into Floyd's rotation spot, with Heath being called up from Triple-A Charlotte.

At 86 pitches Saturday, and after being stretched out as a starter and in extended relief outings during Spring Training, Santiago seems ready to assume the role.

"That's what it looks like right now," said Santiago, who will get an extra day of rest courtesy of Monday's scheduled off-day. "I don't know what they told Gavin, but you hope he's healthy and nothing major and he can come back soon. I think I will be filling in for the next couple of starts."

"Losing a quality starter like that is always tough," Flowers said. "I'm not sure the move we're going to make, but a good option would be Santiago. He has a good arsenal and is another pitcher I think would be very suited to be a starter."

As for the plethora of April injuries, Ventura hasn't made any excuses concerning the past maladies and wasn't about to start after Floyd.

"You don't have a choice. You just keep going. The games are on the schedule," Ventura said. "You just find another guy and you keep it going. It's disappointing that guys you think you're going to have at a certain time are not going to be there.

"Hopefully we'll get a couple guys back pretty soon, but they don't stop the schedule. You just keep going."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.

Chicago White Sox, Gavin Floyd