Former Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena killed in car crash in Venezuela

Carrie Guzman
December 7, 2018

Former Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Valbuena and former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jose Castillo died in a auto crash Thursday in Venezuela, according to multiple media outlets.

The Orange County Register says the vehicle they were in reportedly hit a rock on the road in the state of Yarucuy.

Major League Baseball tweeted late Thursday the 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died.

All three players were born in Venezuela. He last played for the Angels during the 2008 season, but was released in August. He hit.199 with a.253 on-base percentage, a.335 slugging percentage, nine homers and 33 RBIs in 96 games for Los Angeles this year.

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

Valbuena received plenty of playing time during the final stages of the Cubs' rebuilding before he was traded with pitcher Dan Straily to the Astros for switch-hitter Dexter Fowler prior to the 2015 season. He also had stints with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. 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.

Castillo played five seasons in the majors - from 2004 to 2008.

Carlos Rivero, who played briefly with the Red Sox in 2014, was injured. He played this year for Tijuana in the Mexican League.

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