Phillies Wall of Fame catcher impressed by Realmuto, Phillies' spring training camp

Mike Lieberthal has been spending time around Phillies training camp and is impressed with what he sees, especially compared to his playing days.

Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Famer Mike Lieberthal has spent time in training camp
Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Famer Mike Lieberthal has spent time in training camp / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies have been joined by some very special alumni over the course of spring training. Former Phillies manager and shortstop Larry Bowa has been a fixture on the field, hitting ground balls during infield practice. Former manager Charlie Manuel, months removed from a serious stroke that left him hospitalized, has been a constant presence behind the batting cages evaluating hitters since spring training camp first began.

In recent days, another Phillies legend has been in camp, working with the team as they prepare for the 2024 season. Mike Lieberthal, a two-time All-Star catcher and 1999 Gold Glove winner during his 13-year career with the Phillies from 1994 to 2006, has joined a growing list of alumni who have spent time with the team during workouts in Clearwater.

In a recent interview with about his experience being back in big league camp, the 2012 Phillies Wall of Fame inductee was asked about working with J.T. Realmuto, who's arguably the best all-around catcher in baseball.

"I'm asking him as many questions as possible," said Lieberthal. "What's his routine, the pads that he wears on his arm, because we never had that, so I'm wondering how that works. It's pretty funny, now they have J.T's voice in the pitcher's ear instead of just a voice. So I'm just asking his routine, and what he does for workouts, his arm routine, stuff like that just to kind of catch up on what the best on the planet is doing."

Lieberthal was asked what differences he sees between attending Phillies spring training in 2024 and his time in camp during his playing days.

"A lot different," Lieberthal explained. "I mean, a lot of things have changed here, just from the programs, the scheduling, the Teamworks app. Everything's on an app now. The food's better, a lot more trainers."

J.T. Realmuto will make his spring training debut on Wednesday

Phillies fans should circle this Wednesday on their calendar. According to a tweet from Matt Gelb of The Athletic, J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper, and Alec Bohm are all expected to make their spring training debuts when the Phillies face off against the Atlanta Braves at home in Clearwater.

Alec Bohm's debut is especially notable as the third baseman has been sidelined since the beginning of exhibition play with neck spasms. Bohm's absence from the first four games was deemed precautionary from the start, so this is an encouraging sign to see him healthy and ready to get back on the field.