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Report: Ex-Tigers pitcher Jose Capellan found dead

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Former Tigers pitcher Jose Capellan has been found dead in bed in his Philadelphia home, has reported.

Capellan apparently died of a heart attack Tuesday night. He was 34.

Capellan, a native of the Dominican Republic, had a problem with Ambien, his wife told ESPN.

"He didn't drink alcohol, but had lost control in the use of sleeping pills," said Patricia Capellan, his wife. "He had become addicted to this prescription drug, not just now but rather over the past five years. He was even under treatment as part of Major League Baseball for the use of this medication. These problems were well-known by those of us who lived with him — myself, his mother and his brothers."

Capella played five seasons in the major leagues, from 2004-08.

He debuted with the Braves in 2004, after they signed him as a 17-year-old six years earlier.

He moved on to the Brewers, who traded him to the Tigers on July 1, 2007, for minor-league catcher Chris Cody.

Capellan was 0-1 with a 6.43 in 10 appearances for the Tigers in 2007. In 14 innings, he struck out 12 and allowed 18 hits. He made nine appearances at Triple-A Toledo that season, with a 5.79 ERA.

On Dec. 4, 2007, the Tigers traded Capellan to the Rockies for another right-hander reliever, Denny Bautista.

Capellan pitched for the Rockies in 2008, but never made it back to the major leagues, despite looks from the Giants, Reds, Astros and Royals.

In 99 career appearances, 97 out of the bullpen, he was 5-7 with a 4.89 ERA. In 163 minor-league appearances, 70 out of the bullpen, he was 29-35 with a 4.54 ERA.

Jose and Patricia Capellan had been married 11 years. He is survived by a daughter from a previous relationship.