The double-play combination of Cliff Pennington and Jemile Weeks has a foothold in Oakland. And Eric Sogard and Adam Rosales have taken turns this season backing them up, tracing each other's tracks between Sacramento and the East Bay.
Despite that depth, River Cats shortstop Brandon Hicks believes a window must exist somewhere.
"I think there's a lot of opportunity," Hicks, 26, said. "They like to bring young guys up and down, there's a lot of movement. And if you're putting up numbers, I think you'll get a good chance."
Hicks continued his weeklong tear with four RBIs in the River Cats' 10-7 win over the Fresno Grizzlies on Wednesday. He hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and added an RBI single in the sixth, bringing his numbers in his last six games to 10 for 22 with five home runs and 14 RBIs.
Hicks is seeking out good pitches to hit, explained manager Darren Bush, and he's not missing them.
That wasn't the case earlier this season, when Hicks started in a 7-for-48 slump. Hicks, claimed off waivers from Atlanta during spring training, said he got caught up "trying to do too much."
"You start off slow like that, you try and impress, do too much, and it gets you into even more trouble," Hicks said.
The Braves drafted Hicks from Texas A&M in the third round in 2007. He debuted for Atlanta in 2010 and made the Opening Day roster last season, but he went 1 for 21 for the Braves and spent most of the season in Triple-A.
In Atlanta, Hicks found another infield difficult to crack, and he most often appeared as a late-game replacement.
In 2010, he scored more runs (seven) for the Braves than he had plate appearances (six), because he typically entered games as a pinch runner.
"When you've got Chipper (Jones), Alex Gonzalez, Dan Uggla, Freddie Freeman, it's hard to put me in there," Hicks said. "When I did get the opportunities to pinch hit, I didn't really do what I needed to do or what I could do. I guess that's what they saw.
"I feel like most organizations like a guy off the bench to be a veteran who's had experience, that kind of thing. It's hard for a young guy who's come up playing every day to go into that position. It was a little frustrating, but that's the role you're in and you've got to accept it."
Hicks reported to spring training with Atlanta this season. On March 13, the Braves called with the news he had been released and claimed by the A's.
A career .245 hitter in the minor leagues known for being a rangy defender with a strong arm, Hicks is batting .270 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs for the River Cats. He has made five errors in 38 games at shortstop, and none in 27 games at second base, including two games in which he has played both.
After grounding out and drawing a walk in his first two plate appearances Wednesday, Hicks swung at the first offering from Scott Munter, a hard-throwing sinkerballer, and went with the pitch to right-center field. It was his 10th home run since May 20.
"I didn't really see it coming," Hicks said of his release from the Braves. "I don't think any player really sees it coming like that. But I think I'm in a good situation over here. And I'm excited about it."