Errors suck. Wow. What an obvious statement, right? Errors are not the best way to judge a fielder. And as FP is based upon errors, we can't use that either. What can we use?
THT uses a metric called (revised) zone rating, or RZR, and they also attempt to measure the amount of balls a SS gets to out of his zone, or OOZ. BP uses a metric called Rate2, which is a measure of defensive proficiency that adjusts for league difficulty and "normalizes statistics over time". Rate2 is based on 100, where 100 is average and anything below, is well, below.
If you see those numbers, you'll notice...last, that Lugo's Rate2 is 83. He's well below-average according to BP this season, and was below-average last season as well, if not drastically so. On Lugo's THT numbers, I'll just tell you that he's at the bottom of the AL in RZR (behind, among others, David Eckstein) and is not exactly topping the charts in OOZ with 18.
Don't get excited, Alex Cora fans. He's actually well-below Lugo in RZR at .722 v. .772. He does notch a 109 according to Rate2, though it's possible neither number is particularly significant for Alex Cora given sporadic playing time. To my own amateur eye, the RZR difference is the truth. There are balls Alex Cora doesn't get to that it feels like Lugo might at least get close to, and some of which, to be frank, the 2005-2006 Alex Cora would've gotten to.
I don't know. To my mind we have a shaky-handed SS who does have the capacity to make some great plays (take hits away) while making errors on some plays he should make. We have a backup SS who seems to, at the moment, not have the range to play SS anymore. I almost think that we might need to make a trade at the deadline for a better option as a backup MIF. It's a strange "need" for June/July, but I think there'll come a time where we'll need the kind of guy who can make the tough plays and have a steady hand for the ones that MIFs get time to think about. The two best defensive options potentially on the market:
Jack Wilson: Wilson is a whiz with the leather, he's a lifetime 106 Rate2 SS, with an .816 RZR last season with 76 OOZ plays. He's had a down year at the plate and has had injury issues this season, which could help us in attempting to acquire him in a trade. He isn't cheap, with a $6.5M salary this season, and $7.25 next season. That in itself, again, might help us acquire him cheaply in terms of players. I don't know.
Khalil Greene: Greene always seems like a good SS to me, and his 108 Rate2 in 2007 and 115 in 2006 tend to bear that out. His RZR is .847 this season, .848 last season. He's got some power as well, though his offensive numbers have been down quite a bit this season. He's getting $4.5M this season and due $6.5M next season.
If the Pirates have a willing taker for Wilson, they'd probably do well to deal him. He's probably not part of the next great Pirates team, and that's a lot of salary for a team operating on that kind of budget. On the other hand, the Padres don't necessarily have any need or obvious desire to trade Greene, He's about two years younger than Wilson and signed cheaper. I looked at his hit charts, and he's a pull hitter, which suggests he might be very successful at Fenway Park as opposed to the vastness that is Petco National Park. This is some possibly wild speculation on my part. Note, nothing about Jed Lowrie thusfar. We'll just leave it there.