Here are four easy moves, according to SitMet, that the Mets should make over the last two months of the season to improve their offense and remain in the playoff hunt...
1) Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares need to play every day in left and center field, respectively. There is no doubt that Cespedes - with his team leading 143.4 SitMet - has to remain injury free. The best path toward that objective is to make him a permanent fixture in left field, where he owns a Gold Glove and is less likely to get injured. Meanwhile, Lagares, who is a Gold Glove centerfielder when healthy, has been a fairly productive offensive player this season. His 69.2 SitMet is well below league average, but he also brings speed and energy, which the team frequently needs.
In regards to right field, it may be best to simply alternate Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto, playing whomever is most hot at the moment.
2) The Mets should aggressively pursue Steve Pearce (147.8 SitMet) from the Rays before the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Pearce, a right-handed hitter and veteran utility player, is much more than just a guy that crushes left-handed pitching.
From 2012 through 2015, covering nearly 1,000 plate appearances, Pearce quietly posted an impressive 156.4 SitMet, making him, quite possibly, the best kept secret in baseball. He is not only a highly productive hitter, but his defensive versatility profiles extremely well for this specific Mets team. He could platoon with James Loney and Lucas Duda at first base, with Granderson and Conforto in right field or be an excellent option off the bench in late-and-close situations. Pearce is a low cost addition that could pay significant dividends for this offensively challenged team.
3) To make room for Pearce, the Mets have to designate Alejandro de Aza for assignment as soon as possible. With a SitMet of -61.4, through well over 100 plate appearances, de Aza owns the second worst SitMet score for hitters with more than 100 plate appearances. Roster spots are simply too important to a contending team to justify keeping him.
4) Neil Walker's offensive production has been disappointing (-114.8 SitMet over his last 25 plate appearances). However, he is a professional hitter and should be moved to the second place in the batting order behind Jose Reyes. There, he will find his swing, it will give him more plate appearances, provide him additional protection and open holes in the infield that he can exploit. In this situation, he should be able to return to the line drive hitter that made him productive in the past.
At the top of the order, Walker and Reyes should be able to effectively set the table for the rest of the lineup. Collins could then slot Loney (131.4 SitMet) in the three hole, followed by Cespedes, and either Granderson or Conforto in the five hole.