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Brayan Villarreal’s family escaped an attempted kidnapping Friday night in Venezuela

Mar 3, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT

brayan villarreal getty Getty Images

Tom Gage of the Detroit News has gathered the few details that have been made publicly available:

The Tigers confirmed Sunday that the family of relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal was the target of an unsuccessful armed kidnapping on Friday night in Venezuela.

No members of Villarreal’s family were harmed, however, and the incident won’t require him to leave spring training.

Gage adds on his personal Twitter feed that gunfire was involved while noting again that “all ended well.”

Villarreal, a native of Vargas, Venezuela, posted a superb 2.63 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 54 2/3 innings last season for the American League Central-champion Tigers. He is scheduled to make a relief appearance in Monday’s Grapefruit League game vs. the Braves, though it’d be understandable if that were pushed back.

It has been less than two years since Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos — who was born in Carabobo, Venezuela — got taken captive in his home country. Authorities found and freed him about 48 hours later.

  1. philliesblow - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Chavez is going to bite the big one soon. Hopefully some semblance of decent society can take over once that waste of flesh is gone.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Oh, yes, it’s all Chavez’ fault. The moment he’s gone, it will all be butterflies & rainbows. Then, maybe Venezuelans will be decent. Hope and pray!


  2. historiophiliac - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Now seriously, that has to be hard to handle being so far away — and to have to focus on baseball too. I’m glad his family is safe, and hope they will see each other soon.

  3. papacrick - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Thank god! This kid has a chance to close for the Tigers. Rondon is looking shakier by the day

  4. historiophiliac - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Ooops! I almost forgot. I was distracted by the sad story.

    Thank you, Drew, for our daily dose of Tigers awesomeness. <3

  5. mazblast - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    The good news is that his family is safe. I don’t care about anything else in this incident.

  6. Minoring In Baseball - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Wow, that’s got to be beyond scary…Good to here that his family is safe. I’m sure he’s working on bringing them to the U.S.!Legally, of course…

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