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Oakland A’s activate Sonny Gray from disabled list!

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Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s activated pitcher Sonny Gray from the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Monday. To make room on the 25-man roster, outfielder Ryan LaMarre was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.

It’s been a long path back for Sonny, who hasn’t been himself in over a year. After finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting in 2015 and establishing his status as an ace, he only made 22 starts last season due to nagging injuries and struggled to a 5.69 ERA. He couldn’t find his breaking ball, and he couldn’t seem to bear down for the big outs like he once had. He then missed the first month of 2017 with a lat injury.

But now, Sonny is back, and he’s scheduled to start against the Twins on Tuesday in Minnesota. He made two minor league rehab starts to tune up, one each in High-A and Triple-A, and he totaled 11 innings, 0 runs, 13 Ks, 0 BB, and 3 hits (all singles), all while flashing a 94 mph fastball.

With Sean Manaea currently on the DL, the A’s ever-changing rotation looks like this for the moment (all RHP):

Tue: Sonny Gray
Wed: Kendall Graveman
Thu: Jharel Cotton
Fri: Andrew Triggs
Sat: Jesse Hahn

DL: LHP Sean Manaea, RHP Daniel Mengden, RHP Chris Bassitt (60-day)

Meanwhile, LaMarre was in Oakland to replace CF Rajai Davis, who has been on the DL as well with a hamstring strain. LaMarre is sort of like an outfield version of Andy Parrino — a deer in headlights at the plate, but useful in the field. The A’s entered the day with 24 on their roster and then swapped out one-for-one with Sonny and LaMarre, so there is still an open spot. Rajai will slide into that vacancy on Tuesday, says Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

Hot take: April is over and it’s time for the A’s real season to begin. We probably still aren’t anywhere near contenders, but we’ve got our ace back and that feels like a fresh start. Will he be the All-Star we knew and loved before? Time will tell! But at the very least, we will see him pitch in an MLB game on Tuesday. Baby steps in a rebuilding year!