Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
With backups Joaquin Arias and Hector Sanchez penciled in on the roster, there are two legitimate candidates vying for one final roster spot.
At the beginning of the spring, it appeared that just Tony Abreu and Ehire Adrianza would fight for that last job. However, Abreu was just put on waivers. Hicks is hitting .421 this spring, and he is now in contention for the spot. His odds are actually solid.
Why? Adrianza has a .244 OBP and has yet to prove himself as a hitter. Hicks has a career .133 batting average, but his torrid spring shows that he can hit major league pitching. After all, he did hit a home run off of reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw.
Oh, and if Scutaro can't play on Opening Day, he might start the year on the DL. That would all but assure Hicks a spot.
But if not, he still has a chance. Adrianza is well-known for his defense, but that might not serve the Giants well. He doesn't have much experience at second or third base, and the Giants already have a defensive whiz at shortstop in Brandon Crawford.
Adrianza's natural position is shortstop, which could prevent him from making an impact.
Hicks can also play shortstop, but he's done well at second base. In the minors, his career fielding percentage at second base is .993. He could spell Scutaro, who has back issues and could miss Opening Day, competently.
Unfortunately, there is something huge working against Hicks. Adrianza is out of minor league options. This means the Giants would have to put him on waivers if he doesn't make the team, which would likely lead to his departure from San Francisco. The Giants don't want to risk this.
Even though it's hard to send someone down who has reached base on more than half of his spring at-bats, the Giants will likely slot Hicks in the minors.
This could cost them, as Hicks has the pop the Giants need (he has hit a home run in 3.9 percent of his minor league at-bats). He appears to be a perfect substitute for Scutaro.
Unfortunately for Hicks, that's likely not going to be enough.
Expect the Giants to keep Hicks if Scutaro starts the year on the DL, but look for Adrianza to stay no matter what. The Giants don't want to lose him, and even though they shouldn't, that will likely outweigh his offensive deficiencies.