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Mother of Pirates' Diaz kidnapped in Venezuela

MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- The mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz has been kidnapped in Venezuela.

Ana Soto, Diaz's mother, was kidnapped on Thursday in San Francisco, a city in the state of Zulia. Reports first surfaced in the Venezuelan media and the Pirates confirmed the report with a statement Thursday afternoon.

PITTSBURGH -- The mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz has been kidnapped in Venezuela.

Ana Soto, Diaz's mother, was kidnapped on Thursday in San Francisco, a city in the state of Zulia. Reports first surfaced in the Venezuelan media and the Pirates confirmed the report with a statement Thursday afternoon.

"We are all shocked and deeply concerned for Elias' mother, as well as for Elias and his entire family. We have Elias' mom and Elias' entire family in our prayers," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in the statement. "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."

Diaz, 27, is currently in the United States, according to a report on the Venezuelan website Meridiano. Pirates pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Elias Diaz