We're almost one-fifth of the way into the season. Reality is starting to set in. That sketchy left-hander with the career 5.32 ERA is not going to bust out his career year and win 20 for you. But there have been surprises, both good and bad. Here's a team-by-team look at items of note throughout the league.
Philadelphia Erffdoggs: They were supposed to be lapping the field in the North, but the offense is sputtering. Last year's leading hitters, Stults and Barnes, are slumping (.637 and .767 OPS's).
New York Sewer Gators: Luckiest team in Hobbs so far: 18-13 while being outscored.
New Orleans Big Test Icicles: Riding a W10. Seriously, 11 wins for Sam Stock?
Nashville BootLeggers: Mystery: Jason Haywood - 0-5, 7.84 ERA.
Louisville Hot Brown: There are bright spots: C Raul Villa (.358/5/26) and SP Willy Osoria (2-1, 2.18 ERA).
Las Vegas Desperados: Just started a big series with Huntington with a 2-1 win. 21-9 based on a familiar formula: Jumbo Sanchez (.387/7/21) and Jin-Chi Itou (.339/13/37).
Kansas City Jayhawks: These guys were supposed to be rebuilding, but 8 1-run wins have them leading the division by 4. Schedule's been friendly so far, but they just started a 10-game stretch against New Orleans and Huntington.
Jacksonville Three Meaningful Games: The old guys still have some punch...leading the NL in scoring behind Vinny Catalanotto (.355/9/23), Juan Aramboles (.333/8/29), John Small (.415 OBP) and Tommy Webster (.320/6/27).
Jackson Mudslide: Hitters are doing their job (168 runs - 4th), but the team ERA has exploded from 4.09 to 5.26 so far this season. Springer's handing in at 2-2, 3.69, but the other SP's all have ERA's over 4.80.
Indianapolis The Next Episode: Don't look now, but Indy has won 7 of 8 (after starting 1-21). Farm-system reinforcements have keyed the turnaround: new 3B Trenidad Durazo started .545/4/9 to kick off his ROY bid.
Huntington Fire Blitz: Incredibly, they're outscoring last year's team, 6.83/game to 6.25/game. 5 starters (SS Porter, C Escobar, 2B Alfonzo, CF Lee and RF Gilkey) over 1.000 OPS (with LF Hasegawa "only" .989).
Durham Dark Monsters: Cooled some after a hot start but still in the thick of the race. Monahan's MVP bid: .341/10/35 and leading AL 3B's in + plays.
Dover Rabid Dogs: What's up with the Dogs? They entered the season as the NL's preemptive favorite, but have disappointed at 15-15. Scoring (4.3 rpg) is way off last year's pace (5.52). First 5 hitters (Reagan, Woods, Cela, T.Hasegawa, Martinez) have been fine but the next-highest starter's OPS is Suzuki's .675. On the bright side, the pitching has been brilliant - 3.54 ERA.