Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in vehicle crash in Venezuela

Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo killed in car crash in Venezuela

Former major league infielders Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a auto crash Thursday in Venezuela, where they were playing for a winter league team.

Valbuena turned 33 on November 30.

According to media accounts from Venezuela, the crash occurred in Yaracuy.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former Major League Baseball infielder José Castillo".

According to reports, both Castillo and Major League Baseball free agent Luis Valbuena were killed when their auto hit a rock in the road, and crashed.

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Cardenales de Lara third baseman and former major league player Carlos Rivero was also on the vehicle and survived the crash. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief".

Castillo, 37, played in the majors as an infielder from 2004 to 2008 with the Pirates, Giants, and Astros. He recorded a.226 batting average with 114 home runs and 367 RBI during his career. He began his career with the Mariners in 2008 and later played for the Indians, Cubs and Astros.

He played mostly second base and third base.

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

He was one of the players that took part in the early days of the Cubs' rebuild under Theo Epstein, but was traded away before the team would go onto success from 2015 and the years after.

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