I tried. Honest, I did.
I tried to like him. I advocated signing him last year. He was the best option at the time.
Now it could be argued he’s the worst shortstop in the major leagues.
Last week, I asked my friend for ideas for topics on the Sox to write about. My friend, who is a Julio Lugo fan (only because everyone else hates him) suggested writing an article about how Lugo is actually good. I ran with it, because I knew it’d spark some debate. However, when I sat down to write the article and researched the numbers, I came to the quick conclusion that I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t justify writing anything good about Lugo because… well, there really isn’t anything good to write about.
Prior to last night’s game, Lugo was hitting .288/.336/.342. Okay, that’s a pretty good average. I’ll take it. But he looked miserable in the win Monday night, chasing balls out of the zone for no apparent reason and muffing a routine play that sank him to a major league-worst nine errors and .919 fielding percentage. He’s last in assists per nine innings (2.36) and range factor (3.49). He’s the weak link defensively and given his lack of ability to work counts and hit for extra bases, that .288 is a very empty line, indeed.
If he can fix his fielding woes and return to his production in the field last year and keep his average in the .280s, then he may end up being valuable after all (he did hit over .280 after the All-Star Break last year). But for most of the year last year and so far this year, he is a flat out liability, and I just can’t handle it anymore. I have never hated a Red Sox player and I still don’t, but Lugo may, if he continues this ineptness, force me to finally crack.
I’m at the point where now I am seriously looking at candidates to replace Julio Lugo. So let’s look at them together.
Jed Lowrie: Jed has certainly impressed in the short time he’s been in Boston. It’s definitely possible we could go with Lowrie next year, but he and Pedroia are very similar types of hitters, and I’m not sure that the team is willing to go to that extent to fix the problem. In addition, Lowrie is not considered a good shortstop defensively. There is a much better chance that he serves as our backup middle infielder next year, replacing Alex Cora, than there is him supplanting Julio Lugo. It could certainly happen, but I’m unsure if it would be the right course of action.
David Eckstein: Eck would not be available until the off-season as he is under contract to Toronto, but would bring the requisite amount of Grit