Piazza enjoying role as Mets' spring instructor

Piazza enjoying role as Mets' spring instructor

PORT ST.LUCIE, Fla. -- Mike Piazza seems quite comfortable and at ease in his role of Spring Training instructor.

Piazza watched Noah Syndergaard throw in the bullpen Thursday and came away with this tongue-in-cheek impression after the rookie had popped the catcher's mitt a few times. "He's a control guy. Right?"

Frank Viola, who pitched in the big leagues from 1982-96 and learned to throw his effective changeup from former Brooklyn Dodger Johnny Podres, spoke with Syndergaard about his changeup grip.

The Mets have been quite impressed with Viola's work in the Minor Leagues the last three years, all at the Class A level. He will be the pitching coach for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas in 2014. Syndergaard will likely begin the season in Las Vegas.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.