Overreaction or reality: Jose Cuas will have a career year.
Keeping it with the pitchers, pitcher Jose Cuas is having a shutout spring training, as in "not given up a run in four games" shutout spring. The former infielder debuted last season and shows no signs of slowing down in 2023.
Royals fans know how much adversity Cuas has overcome to be in Kansas City today. Cuas climbed through the Royals' minor-league system, and fans remembered him because of the different pitch delivery. The delivery might look funky, but Cuas' results are anything but. The 28-year-old went 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA in his debut season, regularly getting out of inherited jams for the Royals.
Cuas has mostly gone under the radar this spring training simply because his appearances have been so quick. The reliever has four single-inning appearances this spring, with four strikeouts. Cuas is keeping with the Royals' new mantra, "Raid the Zone," and has not walked a batter this spring either. Cuas' role in 2023 is flexible, especially with the sporadic spring training pitching appearances. He performed best in seventh-inning appearances last season but saw the bulk of his work in the sixth inning. Cuas can be that setup man for the challenging part of Kansas City's relievers, including Scott Barlow and Aroldis Chapman.
It is a small sample size, and it is in spring, but Cuas' spring translating to the regular season is believable. He has a great support system in his family. He is no longer bouncing from team to team. Most of all, he has a season to build off of. Cuas will have to surrender a run eventually, but he can improve his 2022 performance in 2023.