Rookies shine on Sunday

St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia tossed a three-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, winning his 11th game and lowering his ERA to 2.42. The rookie is showing few signs of wearing down, and should force his way onto 2011 keeper lists.

Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin hasn't had quite the rookie campaign Garcia has, but Sunday's outing was likewise impressive; Chacin allowed three hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings, fanning nine Arizona Diamondbacks. Chacin should stick in the rotation for awhile, and he's a big strikeout option.

What a day for rookie pitchers! Atlanta Braves rookie left-hander Mike Minor struck out 12 Chicago Cubs in seven innings Sunday, winning for the second time in three starts. Minor, only 22, should be a strikeout option at this level, but to have 22 strikeouts in 19 innings, with only four walks, is a bit surprising. Still, he's becoming mixed-league worthy.

Detroit Tigers second baseman Will Rhymes -- yet another rookie! -- smacked four hits and scored three runs Sunday, giving him eight hits in 17 at-bats since his recall late last week. Rhymes is 27 and a bit past prospect status, but he did steal 20 bases each of the past two seasons for Triple-A Toledo. Look for him to start running with the Tigers.

Cardinals rookie outfielder Jon Jay stroked three singles in four at-bats and stole a base Sunday. He's batting .362 and knocked in runs in all three weekend games. Clearly, the Cardinals haven't missed Ryan Ludwick. However, Jay hasn't homered in six weeks, and he's not a speedster. Like Tigers rookie Brennan Boesch, be careful when the batting average falls.

A rookie whose batting average can't fall much lower is Kansas City Royals first baseman Kila Ka'aihue. Sunday's 0-for-3 performance dropped his mark to .153. The Hawaiian native has always hit in the minor leagues, but his .376 OPS and one RBI in 59 at-bats this season for the Royals does not inspire confidence as a strong investment.