Originally posted on Sportress of Blogitude
By Jason Rowan  |  Last updated 2/16/17

Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley has a great reason for growing out a huge beard. AZ Central/Twitter

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Archie Bradley showed up for spring training this week sporting a burly, unkempt beard. While many players can get lax on assorted grooming responsibilities during the offseason, Bradley has a much more inspired reason for doing so.

Bradley, 24, is about to embark upon his third season at the big-league level with the Diamondbacks. After posting a 10-12 record in 34 starts with an inflated 5.18 ERA, Bradley whimsically decided to do something unorthodox to get his career trending in the right direction.

And it all has to do with his noticeable eruption of facial hair.

Bradley, the No. 7 overall pick from the 2011 draft, hasn’t shaved since Halloween. He originally started eschewing the razor to take part in the annual “No-Shave November” tradition.

Despite calling his beard “very thick and annoying at times,” Bradley says he’s going to roll with it. And part of the reason why?

“Dallas Keuchel, from Oklahoma, he grows a beard he wins the Cy Young,” Bradley notes. “Jake Arrieta? Beard, Cy Young. So if I can follow on that path, I would be very pleased with that.”

While Bradley's theory may lack in any substantial statistical legitimacy, Bradley deserves credit for going the unconventional route in pursuit of his major league goals. 

Plus, he gets to rock an outrageously awesome beard in the process. It’s a win-win, really, and let's not forget the examples of bearded pitchers he cited as evidence are legit.

In other words, the beard may be weird, but come MLB awards time? It certainly doesn’t hurt.

This article first appeared on Sportress of Blogitude and was syndicated with permission.

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