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Former Pirates Infielder Jose Castillo Killed In Car Accident In Venezuela

December 7th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

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 car crash in Venezuela. The pair had played in a game for the Venezuelan Winter League’s Cardenales de Lara earlier in the evening and were both passengers in the vehicle, per BeisbolPlay journalists Carlos Valmore Rodriguez and Andrew Sanchez Ruiz. Valbuena was just 33 years of age.  Castillo was 37.

Valbuena spent the past two seasons playing with the Angels and, prior to that, spent two years with the Astros, three years with the Cubs, three with the Indians and part of one season with the Mariners. Known for his affinity for bat flips and an ebullient personality, Valbuena was a popular clubhouse fixture in his decade-plus as a Major Leaguer — as evidenced by the outpouring of emotional messages from former teammates on social media.

Castillo saw fairly regular action at second base with the Pirates from 2004-07 and split the 2008 season between the Astros and Giants.

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