ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals activated reliever Jason Motte from the 15-day disabled list, and might need their old closer right away.
Manager Mike Matheny said Trevor Rosenthal was unavailable Tuesday for the start of a three-game series against the Diamondbacks. The Cardinals had a day off Monday and Rosenthal is getting extra rest after his second blown save in five appearances.
In his three seasons, Matheny has consistently declined to discuss bullpen availability before games.
"He pitched four days in a row, didn't you hear?" Matheny snapped. Then he added "that was the plan from the beginning."
Matheny said there wasn't a defined role for Motte, "except for right-handed pitcher."
"It's just a matter of getting him comfortable on the mound," Matheny said. "It may be at a high leverage situation right off the bat."
Rosenthal saved three straight games but faltered in the fourth, taking the loss to the Braves on Sunday. Matheny said it had been the "plan all along" to give Rosenthal two days off if he had to pitch in four straight.
"When you do push, you open yourselves to criticism," Matheny said.
Rosenthal has appeared in 19 games. He is 0-2 with a 4.98 ERA and 13 saves in 15 chances.
The 31-year-old Motte had elbow surgery last May and missed the entire season. He had 42 saves in 2012, tied for the National League lead.
Motte said he was ready for anything and joked he didn't return with any new pitches.
"Put it in the paper so other teams see it," Motte said. "I've got like a knuckleball, I've got a 12-6 (curveball), I've got a rise ball, split. I talked to (Clayton) Kershaw and I have a left-handed sinker."
Motte appeared in six games during a rehab with Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis and did not allow a run in 6 2-3 innings.
Left-hander Sam Freeman was optioned to Memphis after Sunday's loss and struck out three in 1 2-3 scoreless innings Monday.