Originally written on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 8/7/12

Welcome to this week’s edition of Who’s Hot, Who’s Not. I’ll be discussing a familiar face with a still-unfamiliar uniform, a revitalized ace and a former ace who needs an attitude adjustment.

Hottest of the Hot: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of the United States of North America.

Now THIS is more what the Angels had in mind when they lured the longtime Cardinal to southern California. Over the past week, Pujols belted 6 HR, drove in 13 and slugged 1.121. Pujols’ horrendous start to the season is no longer even in the rearview mirror. Pujols is now on pace for 35 HR, 111 RBI, 91 runs scored and 11 SB. With Pujols back to his usual near-superhuman self, it will be interesting to see if teams pitch around him more and if his teammates start seeing better pitches to hit. With Pujols, Mike Trout & company, plus the pitching of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke, the Angels are flat out scary. Unfortunately, they have not been able to capitalize on the Texas Rangers’ recent so-so play. Mark Trumbo is cooling off, and the lineup still isn’t as deep as the Rangers, but having Pujols back in form makes up for plenty.

Who else is hot?

A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates – After Burnett’s most recent victory, a near-complete game stifling of the sizzling Cincinnati Reds, manager Clint Hurdle said: “I’ve never had an ace before.” He has one now. Burnett, a 14-game winner in his return to the NL, has been nothing short of dominant his past three starts: 25 IP, 20 K, 14 hits/walks allowed. That works out to a WHIP of 0.56. A year after leading the AL in wild pitches, Burnett’s control has been impeccable. His BB/9 ratio is the lowest it has been since 2006, while his K/BB ratio is the best it has been since 2006. For the season, the 35-year-old Burnett boasts an ERA+ of 116 and has already been a 2.1 WAR (wins above replacement) player. For some reason, Burnett is being started in only 80% of NL-only leagues. He’s not in New York, anymore, folks. Burnett is a prime reason why the Pirates aren’t fading from the NL Central race any time soon.

Who’s Not: Roy Oswalt, Texas Rangers

It’s safe to say Ol’ Roy has had better weeks – or years. After being banished to the bullpen following six less-than-stellar starts, Oswalt pouted and whined to the media. “Well, I mean we’re 4-2 in the games I started. I guess I should’ve been 6-0,” Ol’ Roy said.

Sunday, though, was a new low for the former Astros ace. After pitching two scoreless innings in relief, Oswalt informed manager Ron Washington that he was done, declining to go back out for a third inning. Washington said Oswalt told him “he couldn’t go any further.” What a load of hooey. The man has been a starting pitcher his entire career and he doesn’t have it in him to pitch three innings to help his first-place team win? I’d pay good money to hear Nolan Ryan’s reaction to that one.

After no one would meet his preposterous asking price at the start of the season, Oswalt proclaimed he would wait till midseason and look for his best chance to get a ring. After their pitching staff was decimated by injuries, the Rangers stepped up. I wonder if they now wish they had gone elsewhere. Philadelphia, a team that loves to stockpile pitching, wanted no part of Ol’ Roy after 2011. I think we are starting to see why. Unless you’re in a deep AL-only league, it’s safe to dump Oswalt. If he pulls any more of this prima donna garbage, the Rangers may just do the same thing.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Ishmael Adams suspended indefinitely following arrest

McNair: Pats caused problem by not cooperating with Deflategate


Browns terminate contract of Phil Taylor

WWE’s “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka charged in 30-year-old murder case

Randall Cobb: ‘I don’t plan on missing a game’

Ronda Rousey confirms she was supposed to fight Gina Carano

Harbaugh denies using F-word in Jay Gruden exchange

Urban Meyer: Both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones will play

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker