Former Cub dies in crash in Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela — Former majorleague players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday.
The 33-year-old Valbuena, who played for the Cubs in 2012-14, and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object put in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account.
Heredia said four people were detained after being found with property that belonged to the athletes.
Valbuena and Castillo were teammates on the Cardenales de Lara team in the Venezuelan winter league and were returning from a game in Caracas when the crash occurred en route to the city of Barquisimeto.
Third baseman Carlos Rivero also was in the car but survived, according to the website beisbolplay.
Valbuena, an 11-year major-league veteran, hit .232 with 32 home runs and 116 RBI in his three seasons with the Cubs. Overall, he hit .226 with 114 homers and 367 RBI with five teams. Castillo had a .254 average and hit 39 homers in five seasons with three teams.
The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League announced all three scheduled games Friday were canceled and said flags will fly at half-staff in all stadiums for three days.
Luis Valbuena hit .232 with 32 home runs in three seasons with the Cubs (2012-14).