Reliever Jason Motte returned to the majors on Thursday without his trademark beard.
The former St. Louis Cardinals closer was recalled by the Atlanta Braves from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he had to shave his beard to comply with organization rules that forbid facial hair for minor league players.
“My daughter’s 4½, so she ended up shaving it for me,” Motte told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “She was pretty excited to help me shave it. She did say, ‘You look weird. Put it back on.’ But it’s all part of it. It’ll be back.”
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If he’s successful with Atlanta, he’ll have a chance to grow back his beard. The Braves have no rules about facial hair at the major league level.
Motte, 34, earned his promotion by pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts for Gwinnett, allowing only two hits and a walk.
Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters that he plans to use Motte as a middle reliever during the sixth or seventh innings.
The Braves signed Motte after he was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies four weeks ago.
Motte was outstanding as a member of the Cardinals, closing out St. Louis’ World Series championship in 2011 and recording 42 saves the following season.
But the veteran right-hander has struggled to regain his form since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013. He battled shoulder problems last season and appeared in just 30 games with the Rockies, posting a 4.94 ERA.
To make room for Motte, catcher Anthony Recker was optioned to Gwinnett.