Now that the first five days of the 2016 regular season are in the books, let's take a look back at some of the highlights -- and quirks -- of the Mets' first week defending their National League title.1. Seven players on the 25-man roster were born in the 1990s.Kevin
Now that the first five days of the 2016 regular season are in the books, let's take a look back at some of the highlights -- and quirks -- of the Mets' first week defending their National League title.
1. Seven players on the 25-man roster were born in the 1990s.
Kevin Plawecki, Hansel Robles and Logan Verrett are the elders of this crew at age 25, while Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard haven't even reached the quarter-century mark. And the crazy thing is, all seven of these youngsters are Mets veterans this season. Aside from Flores, who's been in the Bigs since 2013, the other five debuted between April and July of last season.
In 2001, the last time the Mets opened a season as defending NL champions, only one starter, Bruce Chen -- who retired just last season -- was 25 or younger.
2. Syndergaard threw 15 pitches at 99 mph or better in his first start.
According to MLB's Statcast™, nine of the 15 were sinkers, and the remaining six were four-seam fastballs. It's certainly still early, but through the first five days of the 2016 season, Syndergaard's heat accounted for two of the 10 fastest pitches. He even unleashed his slider -- a pitch that most hurlers throw in the high-80s -- at 95 mph.
"The confidence just oozes out of him," said Conforto. "He's 23, and that's incredible. He's got the stuff to back it up. We all love watching him throw the ball, and I'm sure the rest of the country loves watching him throw the ball."
3. David Wright has now manned third base on Opening Day for 12 straight seasons.
The Mets' captain debuted in July 2004, and hasn't missed a spot in the Opening Day starting lineup since 2005, surpassing the franchise record of 11 straight Opening Day outings previously held by All-Star shortstop Bud Harrelson. He also had at least one hit in all 12 home openers.
"Time just flies by," Wright said. "You try to enjoy it more and more each year because you never know which one's going to be your last."
For perspective, Conforto, the youngest player on New York's active roster, played in the Little League World Series a month after Wright's MLB debut.
4. The Mets' starting lineup against the Royals on Opening Day featured just two players who did not spend any time with the club in 2015.
Asdrubal Cabrera arrived via Tampa Bay to take over at short, while second baseman Neil Walker replaced 2015 postseason hero Daniel Murphy, who departed for Washington this offseason. Walker made an impact quickly, going deep in just his second game with New York.
5. Bartolo Colon, who last year became the oldest Opening Day starter in Mets history, almost got the nod to start the home opener against the Phillies.
The 42-year-old, who signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1993, the very year Conforto was born, was on standby as Jacob deGrom, the scheduled starter, waited to hear if his wife would go into labor with their first child. deGrom also started the 2015 home opener, helping the Mets to a 2-0 win over Philadelphia.
Allison Duffy-Davis is a managing editor for MLB.com.