NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Frank Viola is returning to professional baseball, agreeing to become the pitching coach for the New York Mets’ Class A Brooklyn Cyclones.
The 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner, now 50, pitched for the Mets from 1989-91 and retired as a player in 1996.
Viola, nicknamed “Sweet Music,” has coached at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla., and has broadcast Red Sox games for NESN.
The Mets said Monday that Rich Donnelly will take over as manager of the Cyclones in place of Wally Backman, who was promoted last week to manager of the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton team.
Backman managed the Cyclones to a 51-24 record last season. They lost in the New York-Penn League championship series to the Tri-City ValleyCats.
Bobby Malek will return as Cyclones hitting instructor.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.