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Lester on track to start Opening Day

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 11, 2013 11:43 AM

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JUPITER, Fla. - It’s evident that Jon Lester will be Boston’s Opening Day starter, but John Farrell, while saying he’s closer to making it official refused to go all the way before Lester made his first five-inning stint of the preseason against the Miami Marlins today.

“Jon is throwing the ball well,” Farrell said. “Some of the adjustments he’s had to make he’s now solidifying more with solid location at the bottom of the strike zone.”

Farrell said of the rotation, “You can map out our rotation and how we’ve been going through the rotation but we’re not there yet to announce that officially.”

Farrell also spoke about David Ortiz’ plight, but wanted to make a clarification.

“Want to clarify about yesterday,” he said. “Kind of sounds like people thought his left heel was bothering him more than his right, it is in his right heel. He is feeling inflammation in both, but I just want to clarify that. The majority of pain is still in the bony area and not in the Achilles.”

Farrell was still speaking optimistically about Ortiz’ condition.

“For the short term there’s been interrupted time, but compared to the injury last year, there’s still very real intangible progress being made here. In talking to our training staff, they indicated there would be some pains as he got back to full speed. So this was somewhat expected.”

As for contingency plans, Farrell acknowledged there have been some internal things kicked around. Among the considerations would be whether to play Mike Napoli everyday at first base or whether he should perhaps be in the DH mix.

“It’s safe to say we don’t have another David Ortiz to occupy that slot. Where the best matchups are and how do we balance Mike Napoli playing everyday. Everything projects where he would be fine but we all have to consider that,” Farrell said.

That would seem to bode well for Mike Carp or Lyle Overbay making the team as a first baseman.

Under the radar perhaps for a reserve outfield spot is former Kansas City Royal Mitch Maier.

“He’s having a good camp so he’s definitely in the mix,” Farrell said. “It’s very specific to recruiting him here and signing him in the winter. As we looked at our bench and the potential of it, the need for a lefthanded hitting outfielder was there and he’s played well in all three outfield position. He’s swung the bat well (.250 in 20 at-bats) as guys have got their timing down more consiustently. He’s done a good job.”

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