Shortstop Hanley Ramirez joined starting pitcher Josh Johnson on the disabled list Monday, leaving the Marlins without their two biggest stars.
"It's frustrating. We structured the whole team around those guys. There is a hole in the rotation and in the lineup," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said before Monday's game against the Brewers at Sun Life Stadium.
Ramirez has been battling lower back and left hip pain and his last appearance was May 29 when he pulled himself out of the game against the Dodgers after the first inning.
The Marlins lost that game and have gone 1-5 since then.
Ramirez, a three-time All-Star, had never been on the disabled list in his five-plus year career until Monday.
"It's not fun," Ramirez said. "You can't do anything."
There is no timetable for the return of Ramirez or Johnson, who has inflammation in his right shoulder and has not been able to throw from the mound since going on the disabled list May 21.
"We just want those two guys 100 percent healthy. When that is going to happen, nobody knows," Rodriguez said.
Ramirez said his back started tightening up during the road trip that started in San Francisco.
"It was getting worse and worse but I didn't tell anyone because I wanted to play," Ramirez said.
That reluctance ended after his first at-bat in Los Angeles. He also felt pain and tingling in his left hip.
Ramirez has not been able to do any baseball-related activities since then, and said he didn't feel any significant improvement until Monday.
"Today is the first day I felt better. My lower back is getting looser and my hip is better," Ramirez said.
Ramirez has been in a season-worst slump and was hitting .210, nearly 100 points off his career average of .307.
But Rodriguez said that despite his offensive struggles, Ramirez was playing solid defense and was a threat to steal and put pressure on defenses when he got on base.
And Rodriguez said the team's current problem of not getting clutch hits is related to Ramirez's absence.
"He was taking the heat, taking the pressure. Now the young guys feel like they have to step up. They are putting pressure on themselves," Rodriguez said.
Ramirez's stint on the 15-day disabled list is retroactive to May 30, and he the first day he could be back is June 14.
"We don't want to put pressure on it. I don't want to rush myself," Ramirez said.
Hand called up:
Pitcher Brad Hand was called up from Double-A Jacksonville to take Ramirez's spot on the roster.
Hand, 21, will make his major league debut when he starts against the Braves on Tuesday.
"Just keep pitching like I have been, not change anything, and just go out there and attack the hitters," Hand said of his approach to his big-league debut.
Hand will be the first left-hander to start a game for the Marlins this season.