The baseball world was taken aback Thursday evening with the devastating news that former MLB infielders Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car accident in their native Venezuela.
Valbuena, 33, had been playing winter ball for Cardenales de Lara. He appeared in 96 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this past season before his release from the club in August.
Valbuena’s winter teammate, Castillo, was 37-years-old. In parts of five MLB seasons from 2004-08, he enjoyed stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros.
Tributes immediately began pouring across social media, including one from Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who offered his condolences to those affected by the tragedy:
Estoy muy dolido por la noticia de la muerte de Luis Valbuena y José Castillo. Descansen en Paz mis queridos hermanos. Mis mas sinceros pésames a sus familias, mi mano sobre sus corazones en este tiempo tan difícil. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/3DFhntFLbx
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) December 7, 2018
Venezuelan authorities revealed that the car crash was caused by highway bandits who intentionally threw rocks on the road. The four suspects have since been detained after being caught with personal items that belonged to Valbuena and Castillo.
Puig similarly took to Twitter in the immediate wake of former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez’s untimely death in 2016.