BOSTON -- Indians manager Manny Acta held a meeting with his squad prior to Monday's series opener with the Red Sox, just to make sure his players understood what kind of opportunity they had.
Despite being 2-8 over their last 10 games, the Indians entered play Monday just 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Tigers in the American League Central, with a four-game series against the AL East-leading Red Sox and three more games in Arlington against the AL West-leading Rangers on the horizon.
"In a way, I felt like I needed to let them know that we're still in it," Acta said. "Just take the team's temperature and let the guys know that this is fun when you're focused and say, 'Hey, we're a couple of games out and two months to go. Every game is important. Enjoy it.'"
Acta said his players have held a strong attitude through the non-waiver Trade Deadline that passed at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. While the Indians made a pair of moves to acquire outfielder Kosuke Fukodome and starter Ubaldo Jimenez, sending six Minor Leaguers to new teams, the only mainstay from the Cleveland clubhouse to be dealt was Orlando Cabrera.
"Our guys are fine," Acta said. "We're blessed we have a bunch of guys that are high-character, and a lot of them have been together for a while. The guys that are gone haven't been together that long. Our core group has been here for a while, and they handled everything pretty good. They're excited that we're making the club even better."
Choo on road trip, BP likely this week
BOSTON -- Shin-Soo Choo was with the Indians as they began a four-game series in Boston on Monday, and manager Manny Acta said Choo will likely take batting practice at some point this week.
"I think he's ahead of schedule," Acta said. "He's a quick healer."
Choo hasn't played since June 24 after an injured left thumb required surgery. After icing it for a while before Monday's game, he was able to warm up with the team while wearing a brace on his left hand.
He was all smiles in the Cleveland clubhouse, and while the team has been optimistic about his progress, Acta remained level-headed.
"After batting practice, there's the next step and the next step, so I'm not going to talk about when he's going to start [a rehab assignment], or anything like that," Acta said. "He should take it one day at a time."
The Indians purchased the contract of infielder Argenis Reyes from the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball, which operates independent of Major League Baseball. Reyes was assigned to Triple-A Columbus.
Reyes had been hitting .306 in 60 games with the Jackals while serving primarily as the club's starting second baseman and leadoff hitter. The 28-year-old has spent parts of eight seasons in the Minors, touching the big leagues in two separate seasons with the Mets.
Manager Manny Acta was sure to give his young outfielders a quick lesson on the confines of Fenway Park before Monday's game. "If you come in and you're not prepared, this ballpark will swallow you alive," he told them. "If you're not paying attention, it can make a lot of people look like fools."
Justin Masterson spent time before the game mingling with his former teammates. He shared a few laughs with members of the Red Sox bullpen as they warmed up on the field. Masterson, who is 9-2 at Fenway in his career, is scheduled to pitch Thursday.
The Indians finished July 11-15, marking the second straight month they finished with a losing record. Since May 24, they are 23-37 (.383) and have lost 9 1/2 games in the division standings.
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.