TORONTO -- Brian Cashman said a "long, drawn-out process" Saturday led to the Yankees' decision to put CC Sabathia on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation.

"It took up most of my day," the general manager said by phone early Sunday afternoon.

Sabathia, as was the case when he went on the DL in late June with a groin strain, didn't want to go. After all, he'd pitched through it Wednesday in Detroit.

"I felt like I stated a good case," Sabathia said of staying off the DL. "Cash wasn't having any of it, though. But I definitely did everything I could to not go on the DL."

Cashman had separate conversations with Sabathia before and after Saturday's game. In between, he talked over the matter with Sabathia's agent, team medical personnel, manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild -- even team president Randy Levine and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.

"The end result is this is the right decision for us," Cashman said. "He was insisting he could pitch through it. Bottom line is I'd rather be safe than sorry."

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Based on the conversations he's had with his medical people, Cashman said he agrees with Girardi that the inflammation is a "low-level" concern. Much of the discussion Saturday, Cashman said, revolved around whether to simply skip Sabathia for one start and keep him on the active roster.

"If it was October or late September, you'd keep going with it," Cashman said. "But it's not, so we're taking the conservative approach."

Sabathia first felt the stiffness the morning after his three-hitter against Seattle on Aug. 3, saying Sunday that in addition to the stiffness, he was unable to completely curl his left arm upward and put his hand on his shoulder.

His first inclination was to say nothing about it to trainer Steve Donohue -- until he ran that plan past his wife, Amber.

"She was going to call Stevie herself if I didn't," he said. "She made me go in there and tell him."

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Sabathia said he was "nervous" before the ensuing MRI, but not as much after it came back clean. And even though he had the same range-of-motion issue after his start in Detroit on Wednesday, there's no long-term concern on his part.

"I thought I had as good stuff as I've had all year in Detroit," said Sabathia, who allowed three earned runs in 62/3 innings. "That's why I said I didn't want to go on the DL. I know I can pitch with it."

Girardi said the plan is for him to miss only two starts and come off the DL in time to start Aug. 24 in Cleveland.

"That's the day I'm pitching," Sabathia said. "For sure."