The Cardinals recalled Thompson on Monday and will use him out of the bullpen in his third stint with the club this year. Nick Stavinoha will return to Memphis after playing five games for the Cardinals.
"We've got some fried relievers, so we're going to go to 13 relievers for a few days," manager Tony La Russa said. "Brad will see some activity."
La Russa said Thompson will be used as needed, meaning he can throw short- and long-term relief. Thompson said he would be happy to eat up innings, even though his stay in St. Louis will likely be short.
Thompson, whose last stint with the Cardinals lasted a day, said he did not expect the club to recall him.
"I knew they were waiting to see what was going on with Izzy [Jason Isringhausen]," Thompson said. "They pushed my start back a day so I knew something was going on."
Thompson earned a spot in the Cardinals' starting rotation at the beginning of the year, with Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Matt Clement and Joel Pineiro all starting the 2008 season on the disabled list. When Pineiro was activated from the DL, Thompson was put on it with inflammation to the right elbow.
Lee Hurwitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.