Ziegler (back) has no timetable for return

Ziegler (back) has no timetable for return

MIAMI -- A healthy back is crucial for the submarine-style-throwing Brad Ziegler, who says the pain has subsided a bit since landing on the disabled list on June 22.

"It's definitely better than it was, but it's not completely gone yet," the Marlins' right-handed reliever said.

Ziegler, working his way back from a right back strain, began playing catch a little more than a week ago and hopes to return to the club within a couple weeks.

Since March, the 37-year-old said he has experienced discomfort and has received treatment for it. Pitching through that hasn't produced pretty results this season: a 6.52 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP in 29 innings, both career worsts.

"The first probably week that I was on the DL, it was even times where it was like painful to breathe," Ziegler said, "and I've fought that a little bit at times during the season."

There's no real timetable yet for Ziegler's return, because he's waiting for the pain to leave. One worry is that pain could have been causing mechanical issues Ziegler said he might not have even been aware of.

For now, the 10-year veteran will play the waiting game. The first DL stint of his career has him more anxious than ever to get back to Miami's bullpen.

"It's just not the same watching the game on TV as being there and being a part of it and going through that fight with them," Ziegler said.

Gordon gets rest

Dee Gordon left Saturday's 7-1 loss early and didn't start on Sunday because of a slight neck pain he felt during batting practice on Saturday.

After receiving treatment on Saturday night and on Sunday morning, Gordon pinch-hit in Sunday's 3-2 loss and lined a hard grounder to Corey Seager for a leadoff single in the eighth inning.

Mattingly said he expects his second baseman to start Monday's series opener against the Phillies.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.