The Detroit Tigers went into this spring with the intention of filling their missing rotation spot with one of a handful of young, internal candidates.
However, none of the internal candidates separated themselves from the rest, and in fact four of these candidates flamed out and are no longer in the running.
The two remaining candidates, Duane Below and Drew Smyly, also have knocks against them.
Below has struggled with his control, and in his most recent appearance was wilder than a coed on spring break.
Smyly has looked solid and, most importantly, has thrown a lot of strikes (65 of his 88 pitches). But he only has four appearances, which is only one more than some of the other candidates who have been out of the running for weeks.
So, with less than a week left before the team heads north, the Tigers are in a precarious position.
On the one hand, they probably need another starter, and one from outside the organization.
On the other hand, they do have some time. Given the off-days in the schedule, the fifth starter likely won't see his first appearance until April 14, giving the Tigers two full weeks to swing a trade.
Here are five potential fifth starter candidates.