In light of his press conference this afternoon, a sloppy collage of a few photos re-posted from the comment thread below:
It's amazing what the first three months of exercise ever can do to a body. By no means will Felix suddenly be able to, say, fit into a seat at Fenway or pull off that Boiler Room scene from The Rock, but the jowls are gone, proving that last year's hint of a chin was no mirage. We hear stories like this every spring, when a player shows up to camp in the best shape of his life, but unlike people like Bret Boone and Player A who bulk up after a lot of
steroids unsavory conduct steroids weight training, Felix dropped Brandon Fahey's weight in body fat, which (A) generally isn't done with a needle, and (B) suggests the development of a better work ethic and a higher level of maturity. It would've been easy for Felix to lean on his natural talent and coast by on stuff alone, but at 20 years old he's already learning that great success requires one to go the hard way instead. That's invaluable, and highly encouraging.
It's not just the improved attitude that's going to help him, either; being in better shape will get him ready for the season quicker and help to keep him more durable. Longer innings won't take as much out of him, he'll fatigue slower, his mechanics will hold up longer, and he'll be a better bet to pitch well down the stretch should the Mariners need to rely on him for a playoff run. Nevermind that a stronger core should keep his head more stable during delivery, possibly leading to better command of his pitches.
Felix is still a bigger kid, so I don't want to go overboard or anything, but this is the first no-downside story of the offseason, and it deserves to be celebrated. Our jaw-dropping young ace has decided to take his job seriously. How could that possibly be interpreted as anything other than fantastic news?