He’s been watching the games on television, just like any other Boston Red Sox fan in New England. But Dustin Pedroia would prefer not to be a fan, lounging in Portland, Maine.

Pedroia remains with the Portland Sea Dogs and will be back in uniform Tuesday night when the homestand continues at Hadlock Field.

While Pedroia grinds through another rehab assignment, his replacement in the major leagues is putting on a show. Michael Chavis has six home runs in 15 games, batting .333.

“He’s doing good, swinging it great,” Pedroia said.

Remember when we said the same thing about Pedroia? He was the baby-faced 21-year-old at Hadlock, with an All-Star future ahead of him. It’s odd now to think of Pedroia as the old man – at 35 – with a battered left knee that remains an annoying question mark.

In Portland, Pedroia is working his way back slowly – five innings on Thursday, a day off Friday, seven innings Saturday, then five innings Sunday. The pregame announcement Sunday was that Pedroia would play seven innings. When he left after the fifth, it looked like trouble.

No, Pedroia said. “I was supposed to go five.”

That suggests that Pedroia’s rehab will take a while. Last week Red Sox Manager Alex Cora mentioned that Pedroia would play “back-to-back-to-back” games. Maybe that happens this week.

Pedroia said there’s no specific timetable to get back to the majors, except “whenever I feel ready.”

When Pedroia is ready, that will answer one question. The other question: What will Boston do when Pedroia comes back?

Unless Chavis cools considerably, he’s not going anywhere. Boston is playing better. There are a lot of factors but it’s not all coincidence that since April 19 – when Chavis was called up – the Red Sox are 11-5.

On Sunday, Chavis went 0 for 3 with a fly to the left-field warning track, along with two walks – one of them on 10 pitches.

Defensively, Chavis is a work in progress at second base, but the boost from his bat has been worth the risk.

When Pedroia returns, Cora will have to be creative, using Chavis’ versatility. Pedroia isn’t going to play every day, so Chavis will get games at second base. Plus, Chavis appears to have supplanted Steve Pearce as the platoon partner with Mitch Moreland at first base. Chavis could even DH if an outfielder is getting a day off and J.D. Martinez plays the field, like he did Sunday.

Next question: Who leaves when Pedroia is activated? The reactive answer is to release Pearce, who is on a one-year contract and batting .130 with no home runs. But it’s only May and you don’t throw away a veteran, clutch hitter so easily. Boston could jettison a reliever – Josh Smith or Colten Brewer – to make room for Pedroia on the roster.

And what, you may ask, will happen when utility player Brock Holt and pitcher Brian Johnson come off the injured list? That’s a ways off. By then the team president, Dave Dombrowski, should know how he wants to make up this roster.

If Pedroia’s knee doesn’t recover enough for the grind of the major leagues, that’s one less decision for Dombrowski.

But if Pedroia can play, we’re talking about a veteran, Gold Glove second baseman with a .299 lifetime average (which he’s maintained in recent seasons). The Red Sox can find room for him and Chavis.

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