Blue Jays place veteran catcher Zaun on 15-day disabled list

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Gregg Zaun felt something in his right elbow after making a throw Monday and it was still bothering him two days later.

To let him fully heal, the Toronto Blue Jays placed their veteran catcher on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a mild strain and inflammation in the elbow. The 37-year-old Zaun sat out Tuesday's series opener at Oakland hoping his elbow would calm down, but he still felt discomfort Wednesday.

"It flared up a little bit Monday on a throw during the game but I thought it would get better," Zaun said. "I took yesterday off and it wasn't better. It was barking pretty good. Unfortunately you can't carry just one catcher."

Rod Barajas will handle most of the catching responsibility and Toronto called up Curtis Thigpen from Triple-A Syracuse. He made quite the clubhouse entrance, sporting the messy, bed-head style with his blonde hair and dressed sharply as he made the meet-and-greet rounds.

Reliever Armando Benitez called Thigpen into the training room to pose with him for a picture.

"You need two [catchers] here," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Zaun said the injury came out of the blue and is especially discouraging considering he hasn't had arm trouble for years and his body has felt great all season. Zaun is in his 14th big league season and fifth with the Blue Jays.

He is batting .264 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 41 games this year. He has reached base safely in 31 of his 35 starts.

Yet Zaun knows that if he had to try to make a hard throw in a game he might not be able to get the ball there with the elbow hindering him.

"We'll take a couple of weeks and get it better and hopefully be good to go," Zaun said. "I haven't had any arm trouble for a long time. I've been feeling like offensively I was starting to turn the corner and swing the bat pretty well. And I was throwing some guys out. A little time out will get it back."