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(TIM SHAFFER)
(TIM SHAFFER)

Shaun Marcum headed to the DL Add to ...

Shaun Marcum called his surprise trip to the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation "an opportunity" on Friday - not once, but twice.

One day after his worst outing of the season in Cleveland, Marcum - whose recovery from Tommy John surgery performed on Sept. 30, 2008 had gone too well, apparently - suggested that it was concerns raised by him that led to the move.

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General manager Alex Anthopoulos said that Marcum would undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) examination, possibly on Monday. He and manager Cito Gaston both expect Marcum back after the All-Star Break.

"I didn't mention going on the DL, but I did mention maybe the possibility of sliding back in the rotation towards the end of next week," said Marcum, who is 7-4 (3.44) in 17 starts with 88 strikeouts and 27 walks. "I thought with the off day, we could do that and everybody could stay on their regular day's rest."

Since throwing a season-high 112 pitches on June 2, Marcum has averaged five innings in his next five starts, allowing 16 earned runs. He lasted just four innings in the start following the 112-pitch outing but seemed comfortable in his start before Thursday's 6-1 loss to the Indians, when he was taken out after 79 pitches and four innings.

Getting their starting pitchers through the year healthy was the overall goal of the Blue Jays in 2010. Marcum had become the staff ace in temperament and performance (he was 7-1 in games started after a Blue Jays loss until Thursday's defeat by the Indians) and he was also, frankly, a candidate to be traded at the deadline.

Marcum said he felt similar discomfort last season while he was rehabilitating from the surgery.

"I feel fine on start days," Marcum said. "It's just the days in-between that I get a little sore. I'm not really worried about it at all. I had it a little bit last year and it was just the scar tissue breaking up. Everybody tells me it can be pretty sore at times. So, I just took a week off, came back and everything was fine."

Anthopoulos essentially said that the Blue Jays were going to have to start monitoring Marcum's workload in the second half anyhow, and painted the decision as preventative maintenance.

"I was okay with that, though," Marcum said with a laugh when it was suggested he was on pace for 220-230 innings, anyhow. "We talked about it prior to the season starting that they were going to limit our innings and our pitch counts. You never want to go on the DL, but to be able to go on and just miss one start - it's an opportunity you don't usually get."

The Blue Jays will make a roster move after Friday afternoon's game to take Marcum's place on the 25-man roster.

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