Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo killed in vehicle crash in Venezuela

Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo

Former Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena was killed in an auto accident Thursday night in his native Venezuela.

According to multiple reports, their auto hit a rock in the road which sent them the vehicle out of control and ultimately led to their deaths. Valbuena, 33, played in the big leagues with multiple teams for 11 seasons, as recently as last season with the Los Angeles Angels, reports ESPN.

The crash occurred after Valbuena and Castillo left the University Stadium at Caracas after playing a game in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

Valbuena was now a free agent, but he spent his last two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.

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The Angels also made a statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former Major League Baseball infielder José Castillo".

The newspaper cites media accounts as saying the person behind the wheel was the driver for former Arizona Diamondbacks player and winter ball teammate Carlos Rivero, 30. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief", the Angels said in a tweet. He also had stints with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

Castillo, 37, played the first four of his five major-league seasons with the Pirates from 2004-07. He started his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and then moved onto the San Francisco Giants before finishing with the Astros. He hit nine home runs and drove in 33 runs for the Halos in 96 games in 2018.

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