first_imgFormer major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in an automobile crash early Friday after playing in a winter league game in Venezuela, according to multiple reports.Valbuena turned 33 on Nov. 30. Castillo was 37. The two were teammates for Lara, which played at Caracas on Thursday night. A team spokesperson confirmed their deaths to Venezuelan journalist Ephraim Zavarce (per the Orange County Register).MORE: Notable sports deaths of 2018Univision Sports, citing sources close to the players, reported Valbuena, Castillo and another player, former major leaguer Carlos Rivero, were traveling in Valbuena’s car from Caracas’ University Stadium to Barquisimento, where Lara is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday., citing a source, reported the car — which was being driven by Rivero’s chauffeur — struck a rock and then went off the road in the state of Yarucuy. Rivero survived the crash, Univision reported.Valbuena, an infielder, played for five MLB clubs, most recently the Angels in 2017 and 2018. He began his career with the Mariners in 2008 and later played for the Indians, Cubs and Astros.We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief.— Angels (@Angels) December 7, 2018Castillo, also an infielder, played five seasons in the majors for the Pirates, Giants and Astros from 2004-08.last_img