Hoffpauir and Patterson were added to the Cubs' 25-man roster, replacing Alfonso Soriano, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his hand, and pitcher Kevin Hart. The move gives the Cubs 12 pitchers again heading into two Interleague series in American League ballparks.
Patterson had not played in left field at all for Triple-A Iowa, but was leading off and starting in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. He and Hoffpauir did some early work in left with outfield coach Mike Quade.
"You never know what's going to happen," Patterson said. "I'm at second base in games, and the next thing you know, you come up here and you're playing left field."
Patterson, younger brother of former Cub Corey Patterson, was batting .326 with 13 doubles, three triples, five homers and 26 RBIs in 47 games for Iowa. He was the Minor League team's leadoff man.
"The biggest thing for me is just being in the lineup," Patterson said. "It doesn't matter if it's leadoff. You lead off once a game, and everything after that is situation baseball. My job is to get on base and do what I can, and let those guys behind me knock me in."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he planned on testing a few combinations.
"We'll try some things and we'll see what works best," he said.
Hoffpauir has played both left and first base for the Iowa Cubs as well. He was batting .306 at Iowa with three homers, four doubles and 15 RBIs in 16 games. During his earlier callup to the big league team, Hoffpauir hit .421. Can he pick up where he left off?
"Obviously, I can't replace what we're losing," Hoffpauir said of losing Soriano. "You go out and just try to do the best you can and hope for the best."
It's tough circumstances for both players.
"It's unfortunate to have the injury like that," Patterson said of Soriano. "It's a good opportunity for myself to come out here and showcase what I can do. I'm not Soriano by any means. I just want to play my game, and try to contribute. I'm not going to try to do too much. I'm not going to try to hit 40 home runs when I'm up here. I'm just going to play my game and do what I do."
There is one little problem Patterson hopes can be resolved by the end of the game. The Cubs leave after Thursday's contest to go to Toronto. Patterson was scrambling to get his passport in time.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.