CINCINNATI -- With a pivotal stretch of the season under way, the Cardinals need the best they have on their big league roster.
They're hoping Brandon Dickson can provide that, as they recalled the 27-year-old righty and optioned southpaw Barret Browning on Friday.
"It's no secret right now that we don't have room for anything but what we feel is our best," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Right now Dickson has been throwing better than anybody in Triple-A, and that would give us a little more depth. It just gives us some more options. We were just at a point with Browning, he was having a tough stretch there of getting guys out."
Browning had watched his ERA climb from 3.14 to 5.12 in his past five outings, giving up at least one run in three of those appearances.
Dickson has made 22 starts this season for Triple-A Memphis, holding a 5-11 record and 3.55 ERA, and was slated to start Thursday before getting the news that he would be called up again.
"They told me on the field before I started that I was coming up," Dickson said. "I was actually kind of looking forward to watching this stretch. It's pretty tough and pretty important, but now it's even more exciting to be a part of it. I wasn't complaining to anybody."
Dickson had a brief stint with the Cardinals back in May, pitching in two games without allowing an earned run, but said he feels he has improved since his previous Major League showing.
"Basically, when I went back down it was just fastball command on both sides of the plate," Dickson said. "I throw two different fastballs and locate both of them on either side of the plate. I feel way better. I've pitched well the last couple games."