Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo killed in auto crash

Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo killed in auto crash

Javier Howell
December 8, 2018

A former Angels infielder and his winter league teammate, also a former MLB player, was killed in a vehicle accident Thursday night in Venezuela.

All four men were members of Barquisimeto's pro team Cardenales de Lara. Major League Baseball tweeted late Thursday that the 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died. Valbuena, 33, most recently played for the Los Angeles Angels and was a sought after free agent in this Major League Baseball offseason.

Valbuena and Castillo's deaths drew reactions from people that knew them best - fellow Major League Baseball players and the people who covered them.

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Valbuena, 33, and Castillo, 37, had finished playing a game for the Cardenales de Lara in the Dominican Winter League. At some point after the game, they were both passengers in a auto driven by teammate Carlos Rivero when the vehicle hit a rock and veered off the road. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief". He split 2008 between the Giants and Astros, then finished his career by playing three professional seasons in Japan. He played 11 seasons in the majors with Seattle, Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs, Houston and the Angels. He had a.254 average with 39 home runs.

He played mostly second base and third base. He was a lifetime.226 hitter with 114 home runs and 367 RBIs. He's played in the Venezuelan Winter League every year since 2006.