51s pitching coach Frank Viola to have heart surgery

Former Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola, 53, is scheduled to undergo heart surgery next week and will be replaced as 51s pitching coach by Tom Signore until he can join the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

“Frank Viola underwent a recent medical examination during spring training. Mets physicians discovered a heart condition that needed to be corrected as soon as possible,” the Viola family said in a statement released by the Mets. “Frank will undergo surgery next week in New York. The family welcomes all prayers but requests privacy during this time.”

Viola, named the 1987 World Series Most Valuable Player for the Minnesota Twins, spent the past three seasons as a Class A pitching coach for the Mets.