PHOENIX -- The Cardinals will bring back right-hander Jeff Suppan for a second stint with the club, manager Tony La Russa said before the game against the D-backs at Chase Field on Saturday evening.

Suppan threw a session, was deemed healthy by pitching coach Dave Duncan, and will be activated next week. He'll start against the Mariners in St. Louis, La Russa said, most likely on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals have already cleared space on their 40-man roster for Suppan, outrighting Minor League left-hander Tyler Norrick. But they must make a corresponding move on the 25-man roster to activate him for Major League duty.

"He threw fine and Dunc liked what he saw," La Russa said. "Moz [general manager John Mozeliak] said next week we'll make a move and put him on the club."

Suppan was released by the Brewers on June 7 with more than $10 million remaining on the final year of his contract worth $12.5 million. The Cardinals will only have to pay a prorated portion of the Major League minimum: $400,000 for the remainder of this season, but there's a $12.75 million option with a $2 million buyout for 2011 that the Cardinals will be responsible for.

Suppan was 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA in 15 appearances for Milwaukee, where he was relegated to the bullpen. He made only two starts after opening the season on the disabled list with a sore neck. Suppan said he was happy to be going to back to a role he's accustomed to: starting.

"That's something I've known my whole career," Suppan said. "I think that's where I'm at my best. It's important."

During his 16-year career, Suppan pitched three seasons with the Cardinals from 2004-06. He was a key member of the rotation when St. Louis beat Detroit in five games to win the '06 World Series title. Afterward, he signed a four-year, $42-million free-agent contract with the Brewers, but had little success in Milwaukee, where he logged a 17-22 record.

Rotation questions remain for Cardinals

PHOENIX -- With Jeff Suppan coming on board officially shortly and Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse on the shelf, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is just trying to fill in the blanks in his rotation behind Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.

An MRI showed that Penny is healing from a strained muscle behind his right shoulder, but Lohse's return is way down the road as he mends from May 28 surgery on his right forearm. Penny went on the 15-day disabled list on May 22, and Lohse is on the 60-day list.

Jamie Garcia has done well in his 12 starts and has a 6-2 record with a 1.49 ERA after winning a 5-2 decision over the D-backs at Chase Field on Friday night. Adam Ottavino made his third start on Saturday after being recalled on May 29, but didn't make it through four innings in his latest effort.

Where Suppan fits at this point is anybody's guess. The whole starting rotation was part of the discussion as La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and general manager John Mozeliak met for 40 minutes before the game to discuss Suppan's signing.

"I don't want to make statements I can't back up," La Russa said. "I do know we'll give the ball to Jeff and we have a few days off in there. I'm not going to just roll guys over. We'll see what makes the most sense as we move along."

Duncan detects flaw in Suppan's motion

PHOENIX -- It took one look at Jeff Suppan throwing off a mound at Chase Field on Saturday for renowned Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan to notice some flaws.

Suppan, who the Cards are expected to add to their active roster in the coming days, will likely start against the Mariners on Tuesday night in St. Louis.

"Dunc knows his delivery and they work very well together," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "So let's just leave it at that."

Suppan started his first two appearances of the season for the Brewers, but was yanked from the starting rotation after allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits in 9 1/3 innings. His last 13 appearances came out of the bullpen, where he was equally ineffective, allowing 16 runs (15 earned) on 29 hits in 19 1/3 innings.

Suppan said he is more than willing to make any of the adjustments Duncan suggests in his delivery.

"A lot of the suggestions totally made sense," Suppan said. "In a lot of my pitches, I was able to implement what they were telling me. And then you fall back on the [bad] habits you've created in over a year or a month or whatever. So I felt that I was able to accomplish what we discussed."

Cards' Ryan trying to shake slump

PHOENIX -- Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan was hoping that his three-run homer on Friday night might just be the elixir to shake him out of a nasty slump. Ryan's homer, coming in the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field, off Rodrigo Lopez proved to be the game decider and snapped an 0-for-16 drought.

Still, Ryan went into Saturday's game hitting .204.

"It doesn't feel like 0-for-16. It feels like [0-for-] 3,044," Ryan said Friday. "It's just incredibly frustrating. I'm trying to stay positive, trying to just separate each at-bat. But when you're just not getting any results, it's not fun at all."

Manager Tony La Russa said he was happy for Ryan and hoped that his second homer of the season will "jump-start him."

Ryan said that he hoped that snapping a four-game losing streak would help get the Cardinals going.

"As a team, you haven't seen the real Cardinals yet," Ryan said. "I'm looking forward to that. One through nine, we haven't clicked yet."