Royals option Moustakas to Triple-A

Baseball America ranked Moustakas the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2011. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals optioned struggling third baseman Mike Moustakas to Triple-A Omaha on Thursday.

Moustakas, 25, left the organization little choice, with a batting line of .152/.223/.320 to go with four home runs over his first 40 games this season. The Royals still seem committed to Moustakas, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft, over the long-term, but it would not be surprising if he undergoes a long stretch in Triple-A to attempt to work out his issues with the bat.

“Good baseball players can self-evaluate,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore told the Kansas City Star Thursday morning. “And Mike is a good self-evaluator. He understands that it’s in his best interest to go down and focus on some things.”

Utility man Jimmy Paredes was recalled f to Trrom Omaha to take Moustakas’ place on the active roster in a corresponding move Thursday. For now, veteran Danny Valencia will be the Royals’ starting third baseman.