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07/22/08 8:55 PM ET

Stetter optioned with Suppan's return

Shouse now only southpaw in Brewers' bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers optioned left-handed reliever Mitch Stetter back to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday to clear a spot for Jeff Suppan, who was activated off the disabled list for a start against the Cardinals.

Stetter, who had already been up and down once this season, was not surprised. He was 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his second stint with the Brewers but was one of only two relievers -- Carlos Villanueva is the other -- with Minor League options.

"I saw the writing on the wall," Stetter said. "When Suppan goes on the DL, you look at when he's going to come off and you know in the back of your mind that it could be you. A lot of teams have guys that go up and down, and I was told at the beginning of the season that it might happen a lot."

Stetter's departure left the Brewers and manager Ned Yost with Brian Shouse as the only left-hander in the bullpen.

"There weren't a lot of things we could do," Yost said. "Of course it changes things, but it's not anything that's unmanageable. You take what you've got and you go."

In 23 appearances, Stetter was 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA and held opponents to a .160 batting average.

He was with the team for batting practice on Tuesday and had a flight booked for Nashville on Wednesday.

"They told me to stay ready, and I would be back in September, if not sooner," Stetter said.

The Brewers' bullpen has undergone a bit of a makeover since the All-Star break, with Villanueva and David Riske stepping into more prominent roles. Yost was pleased with the performances turned in by Guillermo Mota and Eric Gagne on Monday night, and he has a long reliever for the first time in months since installing a sort of fifth starter platoon between Dave Bush and Seth McClung.

Bush was available in the bullpen on Tuesday, but would be off-limits starting Wednesday in advance of his scheduled start on Saturday against the Astros. McClung, who started Monday, won't be available in the bullpen until Thursday, Yost said.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.