Binghamton Rumble Ponies Pitching Coach Frank Viola has announced he will not be returning to the Mets organization in 2019.
Viola has been a member of the Mets organization since 2011, and he has worked with nearly every pitcher who is currently a part of the 2018 Major League pitching staff. Specifically, Viola would have a lasting impression on current Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
Back in 2013, when deGrom was struggling with injuries, Viola said to the then prospect, “In 2014, you’re going to leave me two tickets to a big-league game.” (Tim Rohan, New York Times). Not only would deGrom make the majors that year, but he would also be the National League Rookie of the Year.
Like deGrom, Viola has been hoping to be part of a Major League coaching staff. Back in 2016, he would interview for the vacant Orioles pitching coach job which would go to his former teammate Roger McDowell.
After the 2017, when the Mets were assembling a new coaching staff, Viola would not receive an interview. Moreover, the Mets requested he move down to Double-A Binghamton after Viola had been the Triple-A Las Vegas pitching coach since 2014. The Binghamton pitching staff would post the third most strikeouts in the Eastern League this season.
Prior to being a pitching coach in the Mets organization, Viola pitched in the Major Leagues for 15 years. He was named the 1987 World Series MVP.
He would pitch three years for the Mets. To date, he is the last left-handed pitcher to win 20 games for the Mets.
Despite leaving the Mets organization, the 58 year old still hopes to coach season, preferably on a Major League staff.