Lee slated to make start against Yankees
Left-hander feeling better after Tuesday's bullpen session
TORONTO -- Barring any setbacks, Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee is scheduled to start on Sunday at home against the Yankees.
Lee, who is nursing a sore back, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and is slated to throw once more before Sunday.
"It's definitely getting better," Lee said. "Threw a bullpen basically full go [Tuesday] and felt fine. So it's definitely a good sign and things are heading the right way."
Rangers keep mixing, matching lineups
TORONTO -- Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays marked the 96th different starting lineup the Rangers have used this season.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he would like to see some continuity up and down the lineup, but with mounting injuries and several new faces, it has made that request somewhat unrealistic.
"That's what you want," said Washington, about having a consistent batting order. "Earlier in the year, that's what I had. It will be nice once we can get everybody back and be able to set that lineup like that."
The last time the Rangers have used the same lineup back-to-back days was between Aug. 6-7.
Washington added that despite injuries, his club's depth still provides plenty of potential.
"We got the pieces here that we would like to have out there," he said. "It's just a matter of those pieces going out there and performing to their capabilities. That's the one thing that we have been missing -- them just doing what they can do. I don't think it would be noticeable if everybody had been [playing well]. Not an excuse. We don't make excuses.
"That's the hand you're dealt, so you deal with it."
The offense banged out 16 hits in Wednesday's 8-1 win over the Blue Jays.
German won't be eligible for postseason
TORONTO -- Called up to the big leagues on Sept. 6, utility man Esteban German will not be eligible if the Rangers qualify for the postseason.
That being said, manager Ron Washington thinks his speed and versatility could be a huge asset during the final stretch run.
"He's going to be a pinch-runner," Washington said. "He can play both infield and outfield. He'll be a guy I'll move around.
"[He's] a guy that can run the bases for us, a good baserunner. He brings something, and hopefully we get this thing back on track and we can use him."
In 126 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, the 32-year-old swiped a career-high 50 bases. Washington said that he is not surprised by the late bloomer's numbers.
"Knowledge," said Washington, as the key for German's success. "[He's] been around a while. [He's] always had the speed. I just think this year the opportunity was there for him to do it. He knows how."
"Believe me, they knew he was stealing them," Washington added. "[It's] no secret."
Hamilton still day-to-day with ribs
TORONTO -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who has sore ribs, is still day-to-day, according to manager Ron Washington.
Hamilton has not played since Saturday in Minnesota, when he was removed from the game after hitting the outfield wall trying to make a catch.
Despite holding a comfortable seven-game lead atop the American League West -- even with the club having lost its last five games entering Wednesday -- Washington said he will not baby Hamilton back into the lineup.
"[If] Hamilton is ready to go, Hamilton is ready to go," Washington said. "All [extra] time off is going to do is knock his timing off. It's not just a game you can come back and everything will be hunky dory. You have to play this game.
"If we clinched [the division] already, I might think about that scenario, but we haven't clinched."
Quote to note
With the Rangers on a five-game skid coming into Wednesday's contest vs. the Blue Jays, manager Ron Washington assured the media he was all but content with the club's position atop the American League West: "The thing about this game is you can take nothing for granted -- just ask the  Mets."
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.