The 24-year-old is in the Cardinals' rotation for the wild-card series against the San Diego Padres, but not until Game 3, which won't be necessary if either team sweeps the first two games.
This new information contradicted manager Mike Shildt's statement on "High Heat" with Chris Russo earlier Monday, when he pegged Flaherty for Game 2, according to Mark Saxon of The Athletic.
Rookie left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim will start Game 1 on Wednesday after going 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 39 innings. Veteran Adam Wainwright, who went 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 10 starts, had a fine campaign as well.
Meanwhile, Flaherty struggled to build on a stellar 2019 season. He went 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA, and while his K/9 was a robust 10.93, he averaged more walks and home runs allowed than he did a year ago.
Flaherty came off a 2019 campaign where he finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. He owned an 11-8 record, a 2.75 ERA, and 0.97 WHIP thanks to a ridiculous second half where he posted a 0.91 ERA over 15 starts.
Now he'll apparently only take the mound in the wild-card round if the Cardinals and Padres split the first two games of the best-of-three series.