Two Former MLB Players Killed In Car Crash

Kristopher Nichols
December 8, 2018

Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo was killed in an automobile accident in his native Venezuela late Thursday night, along with free agent infielder Luis Valbuena. The vehicle's driver lost control, and the auto hit a rock, causing it to overturn, the report says.

Valbuena, 33, was a Cubs infielder from 2012 to 2014.

"Authorities said the players may have been the intended victims of criminals in Venezuela who throw rocks onto roadways to disable cars or cause crashes and then rob the vehicles' occupants", The Los Angeles Times said.

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The team said their vehicle overturned as they were heading to the city of Barquisimeto after a game in the capital, Caracas. It's unclear how much money Castillo may have earned while playing. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief". He also played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and the Angels.

The Astros - for whom Valbuena played 222 games in 2015 and 2016, and Castillo played 15 games in 2008 - paid tribute to both in a prepared statement. While he hasn't played in the Majors since that 2008 campaign, he continued his career with a pair of seasons in Japan, where he suited up for the Yokohama Bay Stars and the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2010-11.

Rivero's only big league action came during a four-game stint with the Red Sox in 2004, getting one start at third base. He left with a.226 batting average with 114 home runs and 367 career RBIs.

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