RJ from DRays Bay was kind enough to give OTM an inside look at our new shortstop:
A few questions being asked are how will Lugo handle the pressure of Boston? I don't think the pressure will really matter to Lugo, while it's true he didn't face much of it down here in St. Petersburg, he's not the type to let outside or non game items distract him. As far as hitting in Boston, he must love it, he has a career .330 clip at Fenway (30 games.)
Lugo does indeed have a good clubhouse presence, many considered him amongst the leaders of the Rays. He's a charismatic type so he should blend in well with Ortiz. I'm not sure about Manny being that well, what type of person is Manny? Lugo isn't going to be one to cause many if any problems, though I should note his younger brother, Ruddy Lugo, was also in the clubhouse down here last season; though before that he still maintained his `team player' attitude.
Lugo is certainly a top 10 shortstop with his bat, and I won't doubt that if he bats leadoff for the Sox he will produce 115+ runs in that lineup. He can draw a walk, steal a base, hit a homer, or just get solid contact, and depending on who you talk to, that more than makes up for his glove, which sometimes appears to double as a casting net. At times Lugo will make great plays (without knowing for sure if DP will be the Sox 2b, let me say he played with one of the worst in the business; Jorge Cantu, and still found a way to turn a load of double plays) but have his share of glove errors. He won't make many throwing errors (I believe he had in all maybe 1-3 throwing errors last season.)
In conclusion Lugo's second half of 2005 where his numbers greatly trailed off is probably more of an apparition as well as mishandling by the Dodgers, than his inability to produce. If the fans of Boston give him a chance to win them over he will, much as he did in Tampa, going from `wife beater' to `lovable Lugo' with his hard work and determination.
- RJ, DRays Bay