Deep within the Tigers camp's trauma ward, doctors are treating fans shaking and convulsing over Detroit's starting pitching in 2013.

Folks are scared. They fear Rick Porcello will be traded. And then, as quickly as it takes for another blister to make a mess of Drew Smyly's left hand, the Tigers will be trapped with too few starters.

They probably have it right about Porcello being dealt. And when you've had a history of blister problems, Smyly could always lose a couple of starts as his left middle finger heals from the nasty friction generated by throwing a big-league pitch.

But even if Smyly fries his finger, or Max Scherzer has a dead-arm stint, or Doug Fister strains another intercostal muscle, the Tigers can patch their rotation and avoid default every fifth game.

They probably have more starting pitching depth than most folks realize. It doesn't mean the fill-ins will be lower-profile versions of Justin Verlander. But, in the tradition of back-end reserves who can give a big-league team reasonable innings, Detroit will have stand-in options, even if fans roll their eyes at the thought of Duane Below, Luke Putkonen, Shawn Hill, Casey Crosby, or Jose Alvarez substituting for one of manager Jim Leyland's supposed Fab Five.

Injuries. Tigers lovers argue this is precisely why Detroit is nuts to trade Porcello when they'll need a quality pitcher to replace a starter or two who's bound at some point this season to get reacquainted with the disabled list.

But playing the caution card doesn't often work in big-league baseball. Not with starting rotations.