Former Chicago Cubs player Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer José Castillo were killed in a vehicle accident Friday morning in Venezuela, according to a Venezuelan Winter League team they played for.
The crash reportedly happened when Valbuena and Castillo left the University Stadium at Caracas after playing a game in a Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
The two players were playing in the Venezuelan Winter League for the Leones del Caracas club and traveling for a game on Friday.
Valbuena, an 11-year major league veteran, hit.199 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 96 games this year for the Los Angeles Angels, who released him on August 7. The driver, former major leaguer Carlos Rivero who played briefly with the Red Sox in 2004, survived the accident. He also had played for the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners from 2008 to 2016. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief", the Angels said in a statement. He collected four hits in seven at-bats (.571 average) while hitting a home run and driving in three runs. He hit nine home runs and drove in 33 runs for the Halos in 96 games in 2018. He began his career in Pittsburgh, then moved onto the San Fransisco Giants before ending with he Astros.
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