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Inbox: How will A's rotation look with Gray?

MLB.com @JaneMLB

What do you think the rotation will look like in May when Sonny Gray returns?
-- Mark H., San Jose, Calif.

Assuming both Gray and Kendall Graveman are healthy when the calendar flips to May, I'd imagine Jesse Hahn would be the odd man out again, leaving Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs to fill out the rotation.

What do you think the rotation will look like in May when Sonny Gray returns?
-- Mark H., San Jose, Calif.

Assuming both Gray and Kendall Graveman are healthy when the calendar flips to May, I'd imagine Jesse Hahn would be the odd man out again, leaving Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs to fill out the rotation.

We've already seen how quickly things can change, however, and I suspect Hahn will get an extended opportunity at some point this season. Triggs will have to be monitored closely, considering he's never thrown more than 67 innings in a season.

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When should we expect to see Franklin Barreto? At what point do they acknowledge that he's clearly ready? Just let the young guys play.
-- Alex W., Castro Valley, Calif.

Barreto's day will come soon, it's just not now. I know, I know. You're itching to see him, and isn't everyone? But there's a reason a process is in place for Minor League players, no matter who that may be. Barreto -- the A's top prospect -- is undeniably talented; he has a special bat, and his defense will be impactful, too. But he needs to master second base and continue to get loads of at-bats at the Triple-A level.

Only when the A's believe he's prepared to make a one-way trip to the big leagues will they promote him, and that time may not come for a while -- my guess is June at the earliest. An Adam Rosales-Chad Pinder combo at shortstop will have to do until Marcus Semien returns from the disabled list and Jed Lowrie is firmly planted at second base.

Lowrie, though, could garner plenty of interest ahead of the July 31 Trade Deadline, which is how I see Barreto's door opening.

Why don't we ever hear about Felix Doubront anymore? Is he not rehabbing with Chris Bassitt? I thought they were on the same schedule.
-- Garrett S., Richmond, Calif.

I get this question a lot and understand how it could be confusing. The difference is that Doubront is not on the 40-man roster -- he was brought back by the A's on a Minor League deal this winter -- and thus had to be reassigned to the Minors during Spring Training. Bassitt, on the other hand, is a member of the 40-man roster, so he has continued his rehab with the big league staff.

Doubront, however, does remain on the same schedule as Bassitt. Doubront's rehab is said to be going well, and he, too, could be pitching in games as soon as June -- but as a reliever. The A's decided to move him along in this role to get him back quicker.

Will Raul Alcantara get another start? They pulled the plug on him too early, I thought.
-- Robert N., Los Angeles

I don't see Alcantara making another start for the A's anytime in the near future -- let alone pitching for them in any capacity. It may be time for them to part ways with the right-hander, who is out of options and thus likely to be designated for assignment soon, especially with so many pitchers on their way back.

Typically, I would say the A's overreacted when pulling Alcantara from the rotation after one outing; yet I wasn't surprised much, considering they can't afford to wait around and chance a slow start in what already could be a challenging season. Plus, they had an arguably better option on hand in Hahn, with the option of keeping both pitchers on their roster.

Has anyone surprised you this season? Seems like the team could be better than I thought.
-- Andy R., Detroit

Two players come to mind, though maybe "surprise" isn't the best word: Yonder Alonso continues to impress with his bat; he's stuck with the changes he implemented on his swing and plate approach over the winter, and it's paying off big-time. Adjustments aren't easy -- it's one thing to put them into practice in the batting cages at home and another to showcase them in live game action -- and I applaud him for doing just that.

You also have to like what we're seeing out of Lowrie this season, notably on defense. He still doesn't have great range, but he's moving around a lot better and has made several nice plays of late.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Sonny Gray, Jesse Hahn