FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Catcher Matt Wieters, the fifth overall pick in last year's amateur draft, and four other players were reassigned to the Orioles' minor league complex yesterday.
Wieters and pitchers Chris Tillman, Esteban Yan, Kam Mickolio and Ryan Keefer will report to Sarasota. Wieters is expected to begin the 2008 season at Single-A Frederick.
"It's been a great experience for me," he said. "There's nothing like it, where you get to come and learn for so long. With Ramon [Hernandez] and all the coaches, it's been a terrific experience."
Wieters was 1-for-9 in five exhibition games and showed off a strong and accurate throwing arm.
"Tools, good work ethic, demeanor. Like I said, and I told him today, he looked like he'd been here before," manager Dave Trembley said. "He's receptive."
Tillman, who will be assigned to Frederick or Double-A Bowie, took the loss Thursday after allowing two runs (one earned) in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins. Trembley often praised Tillman, acquired in the Erik Bedard trade, for the velocity on his fastball and his fluid delivery.
In two games, Yan surrendered a grand slam and a two-run homer to leave his ERA at 54.00. He allowed six hits, walked two and hit a batter in one inning.
Mickolio, Keefer and Yan, who broke into the majors with the Orioles in 1996 and pitched in Japan last year, likely will be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. Yan also could be released if he continues to labor.
Surgery for Bynum?
A magnetic resonance imaging of Freddie Bynum's right knee revealed a slight tear in the meniscus that could require surgery.
Bynum is hoping to avoid the procedure, which would force him to miss three weeks, and he performed baseball-related activities before yesterday's game. He ran, hit and threw on one of the back fields and said the knee felt fine.
"I'm trying to test it right now to see where I'm at," said Bynum, who is competing for the starting shortstop spot or a utility role. "I don't know how it's going to feel tomorrow, so I just have to wait and see.
In other injury news, center fielder Adam Jones sat out yesterday's game with tightness in his upper back.
"They told me he could play today, but I'm going to hold him," Trembley said.
Utility player Scott Moore, who's batting .571, remains day-to-day with an abdomen strain. Outfielder Jay Payton has been limited to two at-bats this spring because of bronchitis, but he's expected to play tomorrow.
Contact with Lohse
Still considering adding a veteran to the back end of their rotation, the Orioles have had several discussions with Scott Boras, the agent for free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, 29. Lohse, a right-hander who is 63-74 with a 4.82 ERA over seven big league seasons, was originally seeking a five-year deal for approximately $50 million. However, his asking price has reportedly dropped significantly. The Orioles have yet to make an offer.
Around the horn
Trembley noted that Hayden Penn has better command and movement on his fastball this spring and believes the right-hander might have been injured in camp last year and didn't tell anyone. ... Today's ballperson tryouts at Camden Yards have been rescheduled for 2 p.m. next Saturday.
Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.