Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Last season, Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitters reached base at a pitiful .254 clip, but the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo has changed the dynamic of the team's lineup.
Choo has reached base in 53.5 percent of his plate appearances in 2013 and has been even better over the past week. Since April 18, Choo is 11-for-21 (.524) with three doubles, a triple and two RBI. He also has walked eight times and produced an .688 on-base percentage.
Meanwhile, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay has an OBP of .000 over his last 20 plate appearances. He is 0-for-19 with seven strikeouts in that span, and the one time he reached base was via an error. As a result, he was dropped out of the leadoff spot.
Here are a few more players who have either been red hot or ice cold in the past 7-10 days:
Mark Ellis, 2B Los Angeles Dodgers - Ellis has collected multiple hits in each of the last four games and went 4-for-5 with two home runs Tuesday against the Mets. Ellis has a .529 average (9-for-17) with eight RBI since April 17.
Lorenzo Cain, OF Kansas City Royals - Cain's 0-for-3 Sunday night snapped a five-game hitting streak in which he hit .632 (12-for-19) with three doubles, one homer, three RBI, four runs and two steals, but he still drove in a run and walked in a win over Boston.
Felix Hernandez, RHP Seattle Mariners - After two mediocre starts, King Felix has reigned supreme over his last two turns. He fanned 12, walked none and allowed five hits and one run over eight innings against the Tigers on April 17, and followed it up with six scoreless innings, five hits, one walk and nine strikeouts against the Astros on Monday.
Adam Wainwright, RHP St. Louis Cardinals - Wainwright finally walked his first batter of the season Tuesday at Washington, but that didn't stop him from going 8 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing five hits while striking out nine. Wainwright is 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA and a 25/1 K/BB over his last three starts and 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA and a 37/1 K/BB in 37 1/3 innings this season.
Bartolo Colon, RHP, Oakland Athletics - A late-inning postponement due to rain Tuesday night gave Colon a complete game shutout against the Boston Red Sox. He fired seven scoreless innings, walked one, struck out seven and gave up three hits. The right-hander has allowed only seven hits and one run while walking one over his last 13 innings.
Norichika Aoki, OF Milwaukee Brewers - The Brewers have won nine in a row, but they haven't received much help from their leadoff hitter. Aoki is 2-for-24 with zero RBI over his last six games and hasn't had multiple hits in a game since April 8.
Miguel Montero, C Arizona Diamondbacks - Arizona's backstop's bat has been silent over the past two weeks. He's 3-for-26 (.115) with four strikeouts ove his last seven games and 7-for-45 (.156) since April 8.
Gio Gonzalez, LHP Washington Nationals - The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets have combined for 12 hits and 12 runs in nine innings against Gonzalez over his last two starts. He hasn't helped matters by walking seven batters in that span.
Brett Anderson, LHP Oakland Athletics - In his latest start, the oft-injured Oakland lefty allowed four hits and four runs in the first inning and suffered a sprained ankle. That came on the heels of allowing eight hits (three homers) and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers. Despite the sprain, Anderson is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.
Brandon McCarthy, RHP Arizona Diamondbacks - McCarthy gave up eight hits and four runs in his latest start and hasn't thrown a quality start in four turns this year. He has given up 17 hits and seven earned runs over his last 10 innings.
Checking in on last week's players
- Since leading off our Who's Hot section last week, Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson has gone a woeful 1-for-25 with 10 strikeouts.
- Mets starter Matt Harvey improved to 4-0 with seven innings of one-run ball against the Nationals in his latest start, and Clay Buchholz did the same by going eight innings and allowing eight hits and two runs against the Royals in his last turn.
- Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick is starting to break out of his slump and went 4-for-8 with two doubles and four RBI over the last two games, but Chicago White Sox DH Adam Dunn went 1-for-19 with 10 strikeouts since April 17 and is 2-for-45 with 18 strikeouts and two walks over his last 12 games.
- A's starter Jarrod Parker gave up just one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings in his last start after allowing 23 hits and 14 earned over his first 11 2/3 this year.
- Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo had a 6.61 ERA when we published last week's column, but he has won two straight by allowing 13 hits and four runs in 12 2/3 innings.
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