Sources: Frank Viola has heart issue

Updated: March 25, 2014, 10:07 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

VIERA, Fla. -- Former Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola is scheduled to undergo open-heart surgery next Wednesday and will be unable to serve as pitching coach of the New York Mets' Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

[+] EnlargeFrank Viola
Adam Rubin for ESPNFrank Viola will have heart surgery next week and won't be able to serve as pitching coach for the Mets' Triple-A team in Las Vegas, according to sources.

Viola, 53, had a heart issue detected during his initial spring-training physical.

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

Viola spent the past three seasons as a Class A pitching coach for the Mets.

Highly regarded, Viola had been due to work with the Mets' top pitching prospects this season in Triple-A, including Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom.

Viola's playing career included pitching for the Mets for three years, highlighted by a 20-win season in 1990. He most notably is known for his eight seasons with the Minnesota Twins, during which he received the nickname "Sweet Music" and earned World Series MVP honors in 1987.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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