The Las Vegas 51s could be losing another member of their coaching staff this offseason. After Manager Wally Backman was let go back in September, it now appears that longtime coach Frank Viola may be a candidate for the Orioles’ pitching coach position.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin has reported that Viola is being considered for the open position in the Orioles organization.
Viola has been coaching in the Mets’ minor league system since 2011, when he was hired to be the pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He spent the next two seasons with the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Savannah Sand Gnats, before moving up to Triple-A Las Vegas for the past three seasons.
Viola interviewed for the Twins’ pitching coach job back in 2014, but wasn’t selected. If he leaves the 51s, they’ll have a big hole to fill, as he’s highly respected within the Mets’ organization.
Viola spent 15 years in the majors, with most of that time coming with the Twins and Mets. He compiled a career record of 176-150, with a 3.73 ERA and 1,844 strikeouts. He’s probably best remembered for his World Series MVP performance in 1987, when he pitched Game 7 against the Cardinals, which the Twins won 4-2. His best year with the Mets came in 1990, when he won 20 games and came in third in the Cy Young voting.