DETROIT — The Yankees are scheduled to play a split doubleheader on Sunday after Saturday’s game against the Tigers was washed out.
Yet, with rain in Sunday’s forecast, there is a chance the Yankees never see Comerica Park’s field before heading home.
Either way, it’s not ideal. But there is a plus to not playing Sunday: The Yankees would be trading Luis Cessa for CC Sabathia.
“We are probably keeping CC on Tuesday,’’ Aaron Boone said Saturday morning after the game was postponed in front of a miserable forecast for Sunday. “We haven’t finalized that yet, but the plan is to keep CC Tuesday.”
More rain on Sunday likely would lead to Sabathia, who comes off the DL on Tuesday, replacing Cessa in the rotation. If somehow the Yankees play two games on Sunday, then Cessa would start the second one with staff ace Luis Severino, who was supposed to start Saturday, going in the afternoon tilt.
“If we continue to get rain, that is something we would consider,’’ Boone said about dropping Cessa from the rotation.
The Tigers would start lefty Francisco Liriano in the first game and lefty Matthew Boyd in the nightcap if the games are played.
MLB and the Tigers didn’t ask the Yankees their feelings about a split-gate twinbill on a getaway day, and according to GM Brian Cashman, asking the Yankees for permission isn’t part of the deal. Should one or both games on Sunday get rained out, the clubs would need to look at common off days to make up the games.
There are eight common days: May 24, June 4, June 11, June 18, July 30, Aug. 20, Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. The final one likely doesn’t work for the Yankees because it’s their last day off of the regular season. That holds more weight if the Yankees are in contention for a postseason spot.
Sabathia starting instead of Cessa, who has worked two innings in two big league relief appearances this season, would be an upgrade for a rotation that, until Jordan Montgomery’s solid six innings in Friday night’s 8-6 win over the hapless Tigers, was taking on water.
In the four games before Friday, when Montgomery allowed three runs and five hits in six-plus frames, the Yankees starters were 1-2 with a no-decision, gave up 32 hits in 17 1/3 innings and posted an obese 10.91 ERA.
Sabathia has been on the DL since April 7 with a strained right hip he didn’t believe was serious enough to go on the shelf for. In two starts, Sabathia is 0-0 with a 4.00 ERA.
Understanding there was a good chance Saturday’s game wasn’t going to be played, several players never traded street clothes for uniforms and lounged in the Yankees’ clubhouse. Others threw and hit indoors. It’s a scenario that will likely be repeated Sunday with the hope that somebody doesn’t hatch the stupid idea to keep players and fans at Comerica Park all day with the hope it will stop raining to play at least one game.
“If the weather is awful, it’s awful, and you could have a situation like [Saturday],’’ Boone said. “If it rains all day, and that is the forecast, I would like to think it would be called intelligently ahead of time.’’
Players like to play, and not playing two straight days in the regular season isn’t good for timing and rhythm. But not having to start Cessa and then getting Sabathia back on Tuesday is a sliver of sun for the Yankees in a very dreary Motown sky.