Met pitching legend — OK, one-season legend — Frank Viola has apparently been tapped to be the Brooklyn Cyclones pitching coach next season.
ESPN reported this week that Viola, who was beloved by Met fans for his 20-12 performance in the otherwise depressing 1990 season, has been put in charge of the weakest pillar in the Mets rebuilding effort: its promising young arms.
The Cyclones said on Friday that the team would be making an announcement on Monday about the entire coaching staff, which succeeds skipper Wally Backman and his team.
In plucking Viola, the Mets appear to be going back to the future for the Cyclone organization. The team’s pitching coach in 2001 and 2002 was Bob Ojeda, another former Met coming off a slightly-better-than-average pitching career.
Viola was 172-150 in a 15-year major league career, including his famous Cy Young Award-winning season in 1988 for the Minnesota Twins, when he went 24–7.
Ojeda went 115-98 in his 15 years as a pro. But he went on to develop many Major League-level arms from his Cyclone teams, including Lenny DiNardo, Scott Kazmir, and Neal Musser.