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Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in auto crash in Venezuela

Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in auto crash in Venezuela

Former Pittsburgh Pirates player Jose Castillo has been killed in a vehicle crash in Venezuela.

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

Valbuena was 33 and Castillo 37.

He said players are told by the league to travel on the team bus, but not all do. This a sad story all the way around, and to know that this was planned out by criminals makes it even more disgusting and tragic.

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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.

Valbuena played 11 seasons in the Major League Baseball, including two with the Los Angeles Angels - whom he was with until his release from the team in April 2018. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief", the Angels said in a 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.

Castillo played five years in the majors, for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2004-07), the San Francisco Giants (2008) and the Astros (2008). He recorded a.254 batting average, 39 homes runs and 218 career RBIs.

He played mostly second base and third base. He's played in the Venezuelan Winter League every year since 2006.

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