KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros made their first roster cuts of the spring Sunday morning, reassigning second baseman Delino DeShields Jr., outfielder Jake Goebbert, outfielder Marc Krauss, center fielder George Springer and catcher Chris Wallace to Minor League camp and optioning left-hander Rudy Owens and right-hander Sam Demel to Minor League camp.
The cuts left the Astros with 53 players in camp.
"The important thing for players like DeShields and Springer, who are a part of our future, was to come up here and make a good impression with a new staff, and both of them absolutely did that," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Goebbert has been a part of our Minor League system for a while and made a good impression, and Krauss had some big hits for us.
"The message to all those guys basically is you accomplished what your goal was this spring, you came up here and made a good impression on the staff.
"Krauss is a little bit closer. He's a guy you could see having some time in Houston this year, and it's nice when the staff has positive feelings about them, so when we have a discussion, if there's an opening later in the summer, they'll be inclined to want him to come up.
"For all those guys, they did exactly what we wanted them to do."
Minor League games begin on Thursday, and the Astros are expected to make another round of cuts later in the week, likely Wednesday. Luhnow said there is still a group of players who were added to the roster this year and can't be sent down for a couple of days.
"It makes sense for them to go down there and get regular playing time rather than struggling to get at-bats up here," Luhnow said. "As we get deeper and deeper into spring, the pitchers are going to be extended, but we want to see the position players be out there longer than two or three at-bats. It's just a matter of allocating that resource of playing time."
Players who were added to the 40-man roster for the first time this year can't be cut from camp until Wednesday.
DeShields, the team's first-round pick in 2010, was Houston's Minor League Player of the Year after stealing a combined 101 bases. He's ranked No. 6 among Astros prospects. Springer, who is ranked No. 3, was the team's top Draft pick in 2011. He put up big numbers at Class A Lancaster last year, with 22 homers, 82 RBIs and a 955 OPS, before hitting .219 in 22 games with Double-A Corpus Christi.
"Obviously, the more impressions they made here, the better chance they have of starting at a higher level," Luhnow said. "Realistically, given that Springer got a taste of Double-A last year and DeShields got a taste of high [Class] A, we don't want to be too unrealistic about what the right level is for their development."