Cliff Lee to kick off Rangers' postseason

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday that he's planning on going with Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 6, followed by lefty C.J. Wilson in Game 2 (Oct. 7) and Colby Lewis in Game 3 (Oct. 9).

Washington said he is considering using Lee on short rest to pitch in Game 4, depending on how the series is going.

"If we think we need him, he could go," Washington said.

If the club decides not to pitch Lee on three days' rest, Tommy Hunter would get the start. Otherwise, Hunter will be in the bullpen.

The Rangers will play either the Tampa Bay Rays or the New York Yankees in the division series.

Washington said he chose Lewis over Hunter as the third starter because of Lewis' experience.

"He's been here since Day 1," Washington said. "He's earned that right, not that Tommy hasn't, but we can only go with three at first."

In order to prepare for that rotation, Washington said the club will make sure Lee, Wilson and Lewis get full rest from the end of the regular season and leading into the playoffs.

Tentatively, that means Lee would pitch on Thursday and Wilson on Friday. Lewis would probably pitch again next weekend, since he won't be needed until the following weekend.

Washington said he has plenty of confidence in his rotation.

"Those are the guys that got us to this point and we'll depend on them to take us as far as we can go," Washington said. "They keep you in ballgames and that's what you need."

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.