Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena is congratulated by Justin Upton after Valbuena scored during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians in a baseball game in Cleveland on August 3, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Tony Dejak

Former MLB players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo die in car crash

Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo have been killed in a car crash in Venezuela.

Former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash following a winter league game in Venezuela.

The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday, according to Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan league.

The team said their vehicle overturned as they were heading to the city of Barquisimeto after a game in the capital, Caracas.

Valbuena, an 11-year major league veteran, hit .199 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 96 games this year for the Los Angeles Angels, who released him on Aug. 7.

“I will miss Luis’ banter, smile, genuine love for his teammates, and, of course, the bat flips,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said in a statement. “He was a beloved person whether he was on our team or across the field.”

Valbuena hit .226 with 114 home runs over 11 big league seasons with the Angels, Seattle, Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs and Houston.

“Luis was always smiling and was one of the happiest players in baseball,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “He provided joy to his teammates and our fans. He helped our franchise turn a corner in 2015 and provided many cherished memories.”

Castillo played five seasons with Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Houston. He had a .254 average with 39 home runs.

___

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lantzville councillors give themselves 45-per cent pay raise

Council pay increase to take effect in 2019

Nanaimo Theatre Group staging Robin Hood as its Christmas pantomime

‘Robin Hood and his Very Merry Men’ will be presented at Bailey Studio starting next week

City parks and rec offering up holiday activities

It’s a particularly busy season for staff at parks and recreation, says columnist

Nanaimo RCMP warning public about rise in break-and-enters

Break-ins up more than 50 per cent compared to same time in 2017, say police

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive needs more toy donations

Christmas charity campaign is in need of toys for all ages of children

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Nanaimo city council will reconsider waterfront walkway plan

Project included in financial plan but councillors want to examine scope and timelines

Customers at new Quality Foods finding spare change for Coins for Kids

Charity getting a boost from new bigger, busier Harewood location

Chamber wants to know about Nanaimo’s best Christmas light displays

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, News Bulletin partner on Spirit of Christmas Light Up

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Most Read