Jason Motte returns to majors with Braves and without beard

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."

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.