He appeared in the series opener Friday against Miami as a pinch-hitter, but not in the rest of the set. His last start came June 5 in a loss to the Yankees in the Bronx.
"Luke's got a little bit of a stiff back," Maddon said. "He's not 100-percent well."
In his place, Tampa Bay has turned mostly to Hideki Matsui, who celebrated his 38th birthday Tuesday. He fared well in the Interleague series opener against the Mets, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.