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Floyd lands on 15-day DL with right elbow strain

Santiago takes righty's spot in rotation; Heath recalled from Triple-A

CHICAGO -- The right-arm discomfort felt by Gavin Floyd started in the third inning of Saturday night's 10-4 loss to the Rays during an at-bat against Ben Zobrist.

Floyd tried to pitch through the discomfort, but after his first pitch to Evan Longoria in the ensuing at-bat, the White Sox right-hander knew that plan wasn't going to be possible.

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"It was just getting worse and stiffening up, and I threw one to Longoria and felt like I was babying it in there and started protecting myself," said Floyd on Sunday morning, after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow. "[White Sox catcher] Tyler [Flowers] knew and he came out and talked to me."

"You try to treat it and get him back as soon as you can," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Floyd's injury. "It is a strain, so he didn't tear anything. No ligaments. It's more muscular. It looks at least like two weeks."

This trip to the disabled list marks Floyd's third since early July of last season for issues in the same general area. From July 8-23, 2012, Floyd was out of action with right elbow tendinitis. He then returned to the DL from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12 with the same flexor strain he has been diagnosed with presently.

An MRI taken on Floyd on Saturday night showed no structural damage, as Ventura pointed out. It also showed the flexor strain to be in a different spot from last year, according to Floyd.

"They just said when they looked at the MRI that the part I strained last year looked pretty normal. That's a positive," Floyd said. "It's just further back and it's inflamed and aggravated.

"Last year it was more on breaking balls I'd feel it. This one was more on the fastball. Hopefully I'll recover and get back to healthy and it'll be twice as strong."

Factoring in Saturday night's losing effort covering 2 2/3 innings, Floyd slipped to 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA over 24 1/3 innings. Floyd trails only Houston's Philip Humber (0-5) for April losses in the American League.

Before Floyd can worry about winning games, though, he has to focus on getting back to 100 percent.

"Last year maybe I came back a little too early and didn't give it time to rest," Floyd said. "This time we're going to give it time and play it by ear. It's a good thing it's not the same thing as last year. It is the same thing, but it's not.

"It's a different spot and it's putting the work in and getting back out there. It wasn't the same kind of feeling I had last year and it felt like it was stretching every time I threw the ball.

"I kind of had a worry for sure," Floyd added. "We took the right way of taking (me] out. If I kept throwing, who knows what would have happened."

Right-handed reliever Deunte Heath returned from Triple-A Charlotte to the White Sox, having previously been with the team April 12-16. Hector Santiago moves from the bullpen to the rotation in Floyd's absence, getting his first start Friday in Kansas City on five days' rest.

Sunday's move gives the White Sox six players on the disabled list.

"Again, in any situation, it can always be worse," Ventura said. "You really look at it that you are going to get some guys who get opportunities. It's also how we got [Jose] Quintana last year.

"There are opportunities that guys need to take advantage of. If it doesn't happen for us, there are other teams looking at these guys when they get opportunities. It's up to them. They are going to get some playing time."

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

Chicago White Sox, Gavin Floyd, Hector Santiago