KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals pitcher Jose Cuas was honored Monday by the Boston Red Sox with the Tony Conigliaro Award.
The Red Sox have given out the award since 1990 in memory of the Boston outfielder whose baseball career was shortened after being a hit by a pitch. He died at age 45.
The award is given out to the “Major Leaguer who overcomes adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.”
Cuas made his major league debut in June after nearly walking away from baseball twice. He shared his excitement on receiving the award.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award. This accomplishment is a significant milestone in my life. To see my name mentioned next to Tony Conigliaro is truly a blessing,” Cuas said.
Cuas was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 11th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. His long journey to the big leagues included changing positions from infield to pitcher, getting released, playing independent ball, and a comeback thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After his release during the pandemic, he caught the eye of Royals coach Tony Pena Jr., in the Dominican Winter League, signing with the franchise in 2021. After a few stops in the minors, he made his Major League debut during the 2022 season against the Cleveland Guardians.
Cuas finished the season 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Former Royals outfielder Jim Eisenreich was the first recipient of this award in 1990.