ATLANTA -- One half of the Cardinals' roster move on Wednesday was entirely anticipated, and warmly welcomed. The second came as something of a jolt.
In order to add Chris Carpenter to the active roster, St. Louis optioned left-handed reliever Randy Flores to Triple-A Memphis. Flores has struggled for most of the season, allowing 30 hits and 17 walks in 23 2/3 innings, so he was sent down to make room for Carpenter, who is returning from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.
"It was definitely tough, but it's more important for 'Flo' to get back on track," said general manager John Mozeliak. "Hopefully it's not a long stay."
The club hopes that Flores will be able to use the time at Memphis to get his delivery ironed out. He has not been sharp for most of the season.
Flores spent three weeks on the disabled list with a left ankle injury, and since his return, he has shown some improvement, but still has not been as effective as he or the team would hope. In five appearances since he was activated, Flores has faced 22 batters and retired 12 of them. He fared well in a Minor League rehabilitation assignment at Memphis before being activated.
"He's not himself and he needs to work," said manager Tony La Russa. "He was making good progress there before we called him up. I think he's got a couple things that are not what he looks like when he's really on his game."
Mozeliak and La Russa both said the move does not change the way the Cardinals approach the final 24 hours before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. La Russa prefers to have at least two left-handed relievers, but adding a lefty has been a priority for much of the year anyway.
"I think we've been looking for one irrespective [of Wednesday's move]," La Russa said.
If there is a silver lining for Flores, it is that he will be united with his brother. Ron Flores also pitches for Memphis.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.