Former MLB players Valbuena, Castillo killed in car crash
Cardenales de Lara – the team Jose Castillo and Luis Valbuena played for – confirmed the pair had been killed in a crash on Thursday.
Former MLB players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash in Venezuela as tributes poured in for the pair.
Cardenales de Lara – the team Castillo and Valbuena played for – confirmed the 33-year-old and 37-year-old had been killed in a crash on Thursday via Twitter.
According to Yaracuy state governor Julio Leon Heredia, four men were taken into custody having allegedly been involved in causing the crash and robbing the players of their belongings.
A third member or the Cardenales de Lara, former Arizona Diamondbacks player Carlos Rivera, and the driver of the vehicle survived the crash.
Valbuena spent 11 years in the majors, with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
Castillo played in the majors from 2004 to 2008 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Astros.
"This is a very sad day for our sport as we mourn the deaths of Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
"It is clear by all the stories today that they loved baseball and made an impact on their team-mates and the clubs they represented.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, friends and fans, particularly those in their native Venezuela."
The Astros released a statement, which read: "The Astros family lost two young men yesterday, entirely too soon. During his two seasons in Houston, Luis was an extremely popular player with his team-mates and the Astros' staff.
"He was a productive player on the field and played a key role in the Astros' run to the postseason in 2015. Off the field, he was a warm and friendly presence to all who interacted with him.
"Jose's time with the Astros was brief, but he also had a positive impact on those around him. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends."