Mother of Pittsburgh Pirate Elias Diaz is kidnapped

From Mirror, wire reports

The mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was kidnapped in Venezuela, which was reported by several media outlets in Venezuela on Thursday.

According to the website Meridiano in Venezuela, Diaz’s mother was kidnapped in San Francisco, in the state of Zulia, according to a brief article on the site.

“We are all shocked and deeply concerned for Elias’ mother, as well as for Elias and his entire family,” Pirates president Frank Coonnelly said in a statement released to the media.

“We have Elias’ mom and Elias’ entire family in our prayers. We are using all of the resources available at the Pirates and Major League Baseball to support Elias and his family during this incredibly difficult time. As we work with authorities on his mom’s safe return, we will withhold further comment and ask that you please respect the family’s need for privacy,” he added.

Because of the political unrest in Venezuela, kidnappings have been on the rise under Nicolas Maduro’s government there. In the past several Pirates players have spoken against the current regime, and have not been home in years. Two other Pirate players who are from Venezuela include pitcher Felipe Rivero and catcher Francisco Cervelli.

Back in 2011, Wilson Ramos, who was the catcher of the Washington Nationals, was kidnapped while living in Venezuela. He was rescued by authorities then and currently plays for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Diaz, a one-time member of the Altoona Curve, played 64 games for Pittsburgh in 2017, hitting .223 with 19 RBIs and 18 runs.

Spring training opens in less than a week for the Pirates.