Former American League Cy Young Winner Viola Has Heart Surgery

New York Mets minor-league pitching coach Frank Viola, the 1988 American League Cy Young Award winner, is recovering after undergoing heart surgery yesterday.

Viola, 53, had the procedure to correct an unspecified heart condition that was detected during a training camp physical. He was set to start his fourth season as a pitching coach in the Mets’ system and had been preparing to work with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

“He certainly wants to be back, but I think we’ll let the doctors dictate when he does come back,” Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told reporters yesterday. “When he’s ready and he’s able, I’m sure he’ll be out there, but we want to make sure he’s fully recovered from this surgery first.”

Viola helped the Twins win the World Series in 1987 and earned the Cy Young Award as the AL’s top pitcher the following year after going 24-7 with a 2.64 earned run average. He played 15 years in the major leagues from 1982 through 1996 and spent three seasons with the Mets, winning 20 games in 1990.

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