Texas Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers was attacked by several young males near the team hotel in downtown Cleveland on Thursday night.
Scheppers said he was getting something to eat when he was “sucker-punched” and he “dropped like a sack of potatoes,” according to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. He was later examined by a team doctor, and other than a headache and a back eye, he was fortunately okay. The righty did not pitch last night in a game the Rangers lost to the Cleveland Indians 11-8 in eleven innings. Manager Ron Washington apparently gave conflicting statements as to whether the pitcher would have been available for the game. Washington added that “I wish it wouldn’t have happened, obviously. Things like this just don’t happen in Cleveland. They happen everywhere.”
He did not pitch tonight in a 1-0 loss to Cleveland.
Scheppers, 6’4″ and 200 lbs., did not bother to file a police report because responding officers told him that this kind of mugging happens all the time and it was unlikely there would be any arrests. “They said it happens a lot, actually. I’m just lucky nothing serious really happened… I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” MLB security was also notified.
The relief pitcher added that “[It was] one of those freak things. 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 was originally called up by the Rangers from Triple-A Round Rock in June 2012 when Derk Holland went on the disabled list. This season so far, Scheppers is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 46 appearances. In 2012, over 39 games, he went 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA.
The Texas Rangers are currently in second place in the MLB American League West with a record of 56 wins and 48 losses.