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Can we try this again?

Is it yet time to call up Mark Melancon?

In fairness to Chan Ho Park, not only is it too early for me to say "I told you so" on that particular signing, but the debacle of Opening Night had multiple authors. These can be separated into two groups, "likely transient" and "likely permanent:"

Likely Transient
• CC Sabathia’s lack of location.
• Chan Ho Park’s lack of location/nervous overthrowing.

Likely Permanent
• Brett Gardner’s weak arm.
• Curtis Granderson’s vulnerability to left-handers
• Jorge Posada chasing balls to the backstop.
• Joba Chamberlain being wild and hittable.

Of the second list, Gardner’s range should compensate for his arm. Granderson will eventually be treated like a platoon player in clutch situations and on days when all but the lamest lefties start. Posada is an older catcher and that’s not going to change, but as with last night, he should hit enough to make up for it most of the time. Joba ... well, you know about Joba. Eventually, Joe Girardi will figure out when to use Chamberlain and when not to use him. Last night, of course, he had to use him because he used just about everyone else.

None of those weaknesses came as a surprise. Rather, the surprise was in their all rolling up at once, and at the same time as those transient problems from Sabathia and Park. If that happens only another 60 times this season, the Yankees will be fine. If it happens 70 times, the season will be a disappointment. That seems unlikely, especially if Girardi employs some common sense fixes like pinch-hitting against lefty spot relievers late in tight games (thereafter moving Gardner to center and subbing Randy Winn in left) and using Frankie Cervelli as a defensive replacement for Posada in certain spots, the odds of a total meltdown will greatly decrease.

Until then, there were many positives for the Yankees in the game. Yankees hitters were as selective as ever and chawed up Josh Beckett’s pitch count in a hurry. There were a few misplays on defense (Gardner’s throw, Posada’s tough inning with Damaso Marte, and Nick Swisher’s odd route on the Youkilis triple), but otherwise the D looked strong, with Granderson being able to use his speed to recover from a bad read and some very solid players from A-Rod and Robinson Cano. The Gardner-Jeter double-steal was a sign of things to come. Nick Johnson, though he went 0-for-3, also took two walks. If this game can be taken as any kind of portent, then this is going to be a very solid, dynamic offensive unit.

That, instead of the loss, is what we should take away from this game.

Two interesting outfielders were designated for assignment by their teams over the weekend, and might be of use to a team looking for outfield depth in the Minors. The Marlins cut bait on Jai Miller, a tools-type now 25, who has been in their system since about 1882 but whose ability to use those tools is just now coming into focus. Barring unlikely growth, he’s locked in as a high-strikeout, low-average hitter who would hit the occasional home run, be a solid pinch-runner, and play strong defense.

The Reds decided to risk the loss of Wladimir Balentien. Originally developed by the Mariners, Balentien, also 25, has had roughly a full season of at-bats in the Majors and has hit only .221/.281/.374 with 15 home runs in rather sporadic playing time, along with a troubling 44 walks and 149 strikeouts. He was a far more interesting player in the Minors, hitting .283/.359/.534 in about a season-and-a-half at Triple-A Tacoma. He retains enough potential that there will be interest in his services, but if the Yankees could get a shot at him, you would rather gamble a roster spot on him than, say, Juan Miranda, soon to be 27 (or 2700).

Dead Player of the Day #6 is up.

• There is a chat going on all day at BP built around Opening Day, and I’ll be participating from time to time, so feel free to drop by.

Wholesome Reading has new stuff up since last we met, with more to come. Warning: politics, herring.