Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers was assaulted in Cleveland on Thursday night

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Scary news coming from the Rangers, as Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that reliever Tanner Scheppers was unavailable for last night’s game against the Indians after the 6-foot-4 right-hander was “sucker punched” by a group of males while walking in downtown Cleveland on Thursday night.

Scheppers said the incident occurred about two blocks from the team hotel as he was going to get something to eat. Nothing was taken from him and he has not filed a police report, though the Cleveland police are aware of the situation.

“One of those freak things,” Scheppers said. “I was just getting food and was blindsided. … It’s something you don’t want to be talking about. You want to be talking about baseball things.”

Scheppers suffered a laceration above his eye and a couple of cuts, but he passed all concussion tests. He is available for tonight’s game.

Scheppers has emerged as an important part of the Rangers’ bullpen this season, posting a 1.74 ERA and 32/17 K/BB ratio over 46 2/3 innings. He has held opposing batters to a .202 batting average.

Brad Ausmus interviewing for Astros manager job

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I did the Handsome Managers list in December. Thought I had moved on. Thought I’d never have to think about him again. But here is, walking right back in my door: Brad Ausmus is interviewing for the vacant Astros manager job. So reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Ausmus played for the Astros longer than he played for any other team in the bigs, notching ten years of service in two stints and playing on the 2005 NL Pennant-winning club. As a manager, you know, that he led the Tigers for four seasons and was the Angels’ skipper last year.

Houston has already interviewed Dusty Baker for the job. They’ll presumably want someone in place before spring training begins in a few weeks.