Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in auto crash in Venezuela

Venezuelan baseball fans mourn death of ex-major leaguers Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo killed in car crash in Venezuela
Andrew Wong | 07 December, 2018, 15:35

Former Pittsburgh Pirates player Jose Castillo has been killed in a auto crash in Venezuela.

Valbuena, who played for the Cubs from 2012-14 and was popular among his teammates, and former major leaguer Jose Castillo were killed when their vehicle collided with a rock that rolled onto a road, according to the Orange County Register.

They played for the same team in the Venezuelan winter league, and both played in Thursday night's game.

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Valbuena turned 33 on November 30.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former Major League Baseball infielder José Castillo. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief", the Angels said in a tweet. The chauffeur and infielder Carlos Rivero, a teammate of Valbuena and Castillo who was also in the auto, survived.

Valbuena played 11 seasons in the majors, beginning his career in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners. He played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and the Angels along the way.

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Carlos Rivero, who played briefly with the Red Sox in 2014, was injured. He batted.256/.297/.380 with 33 home runs in 465 games during his four seasons in Pittsburgh, playing 388 games at second base, 41 at third base, 10 at shortstop and one in right field.

He was in the minor leagues in the United States as recently as 2017, playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks' Triple-A Reno affiliate.

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