SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants released infielder Tony Abreu on Sunday, moving rookie Ehire Adrianza and non-roster invitee Brandon Hicks closer to making the Opening Night roster.
Adrianza's batting only .205, and his spring total of three home runs is an anomaly. He's hit more than three only once in his eight previous professional seasons, when he clubbed six in 2011, three each with Class A Augusta and Class A Advanced San Jose. But his defense at second base and shortstop, his primary position, has ranged from smooth to electrifying. His skills could prove handy for a team that relies on pitching and defense as the Giants do.
Hicks simply has played himself into contention for a big league job. He's batting .421 with a .531 on-base percentage and an .842 slugging percentage. Manager Bruce Bochy did not divulge the nature of a conversation he had with Hicks on Sunday. But Hicks almost certainly will make the team if second baseman Marco Scutaro opens the season on the disabled list, which is looking likelier by the day. Scutaro participated in light baseball-related activities Sunday, though it wasn't known when he might try playing again. Scutaro's lone Cactus League appearance was a three-inning stint against the Angels last Monday.
Bochy dropped no hints regarding how the Giants might handle their final personnel moves.
"It's going to go down to the wire," he said.
The switch-hitting Abreu, who batted .268 in 53 games with the Giants last year, hit .179 in 16 Cactus League games while playing a team-high 60 1/3 innings at second base.
Combined with the demotions of relievers Dan Runzler and George Kontos to Minor League camp, Abreu's departure left the Giants' spring roster at 29, four above the season-opening limit.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.