Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in auto crash in Venezuela

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In a gutwrenching and heartbreaking piece of news, Major League Baseball announced overnight that Luis Valbuena and former Pirates/Giants/Astros infielder Jose Castillo were killed in a vehicle crash in Venezuela.

The four players had been driving to the city of Barquisimeto when their auto smashed into a rock just before 2am local time, police reported. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, friends and fans, particularly those in their native Venezuela".

Venezuelan teams often travel together on team buses flanked by security forces to ensure the players' safety.

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They and Venezuela Winter League teammate Carlos Rivero, who was injured but survived the wreck, were passengers in the vehicle.

Former Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo have been killed in a vehicle crash in Venezuela.

MLB veterans Jose Valbuena, 34, and Jose Castillo, 37, lost their lives in a auto crash after a playing in a Venezuela Professional Baseball League game.

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Castillo, 37, appeared in 112 games for the Giants in 2018 and 15 with the Astros, having spent his previous four years in Pittsburgh. The driver, who has not been identified, also survived. He subsequently played for the Cleveland Indians (2009-11), the Chicago Cubs (2012-14), the Astros (2015-16) and the Angels (2017-18).

He played mostly second base and third base. He left with a.226 batting average with 114 home runs and 367 career RBIs. He's played in the Venezuelan Winter League every year since 2006. He played this year for Tijuana in the Mexican League.

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