A number of rookies made Opening Day lineups this season, but there are still a host of young, talented players waiting in the wings.
Rays outfielder Wil Myers, Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole and Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud are all beginning the season in the minors.
The popular belief is that Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and New York want to delay future free agency, but the clubs contend otherwise.
"Everybody is going to speculate why he is being sent out -- and they're wrong," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "He's being sent out because in our minds, he's not ready to compete, to be successful at the Major League level, to be one of those top-of-the-rotation starters, [which is] our goal for him."
The same was said in Tampa Bay.
"With any potential move there are a lot of factors to consider -- the fit on our roster, what it means for our depth, and so on," Andrew Friedman said. "We also have to be really mindful that our goal is to compete year in and year out in the toughest division in baseball with almost no margin for error.
"The AL East will expose very quickly any weaknesses that you have. So when we bring someone here, we need to feel that he's ready to step in and help us win right away. As [manager Joe Maddon] has touched on already this spring, if we add someone who's not ready, not only will it hurt the team, but it can really set the player back as well."