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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell revealed the team's worst-kept secret Thursday: Jon Lester will indeed start on Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles.
"Oh yes," Farrell said. "Jon Lester is starting. And the world is round. So he starts Monday."
Farrell said he first noticed Lester's potential to be a front-line starter in 2005. That season, Lester went 11-6 with a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Portland. Farrell was working for the Cleveland Indians as their minor league director.
"I think he was 20 years old," Farrell said of Lester, who was 21. "He had size and stuff. With a one-game look, you don't know what's going on inside with the work ethic or all of those types of things. But that was my first time seeing him."
The Red Sox still have 35 players in camp, including five non-roster invitees. That number will change after Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Twins, but not to the final 25 just yet, Farrell said.
"There will be an announcement a little bit later today," Farrell said. "We've had a number of things going on today, so we're not completely done with all of the individual meetings with some players. By the end of today, we should have some moves announced."