Luis Valbuena
Former Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Valbuena died in a car crash in Venezuela on Thursday. In this picture, Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to striking out against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 10, 2018. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Former Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Valbuena and former Houston Astros infielder Jose Castillo died in a car accident in Venezuela on Thursday.

They were said to be traveling after playing for their team — the Cardenales de Lara — in the Venezuelan Winter League on Thursday night. Their deaths were confirmed by a spokesperson for the Venezuelan team.​

According to the Orange County Register, the accident occurred when the car they were traveling in collided with a rock that rolled on to the road in the state of Yaracuy. The report states that the car was being driven by the driver of former Arizona Diamondbacks player and current Lara teammate Carlos Rivero, both of whom survived the crash.

Valbuena, who was known for his bat flips, played for the Angels last season and batted .199 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 96 games before he was released this August, according to He spent 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, also appearing for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, and the Houston Astros.

Castillo, meanwhile, last appeared in the Major League in 2008 with the Astros. He also played for the Pittsburg Pirates and the New York Giants during his five seasons in the big league.

The Angels immediately put a message grieving their former player while also sending out prayers to the family of Castillo. Tributes poured in from fans of both the Astros and Angels infielders.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief,” the Angeles wrote via their official Twitter account.