Kuip lays out bold prediction for Giants' Hjelle in 2023

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The Giants begin their 2023 MLB season one week from Thursday.

That means it’s time for San Francisco fans to etch their bold predictions in stone before Opening Day, baseball’s national holiday.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Duane Kuiper did just that on the latest episode of “Giants Talk” with Alex Pavlovic and Cole Kuiper.

“I’m going to say Sean Hjelle wins between seven and 10 games,” the elder Kuiper said.

Hjelle, 25, only has 25 big league innings under his belt and has never started a game. He earned his first and only MLB win last season in the Giants’ 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 28.

San Francisco boasts a starting pitching staff that runs six deep this season, as Logan Webb will start Opening Day and Alex Cobb will follow. Anthony DeSclafani, Sean Manaea, Ross Stripling and Alex Wood also will be in the rotation.

Hjelle likely will be in the mix to log bulk innings throughout the season.

“If there’s an injury somewhere, he has a chance to pitch a lot,” Kuiper said.

Ten wins might not seem like a bold number, but that would have ranked third on the Giants last season behind Webb (15 wins) and Carlos Rodón (14).

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“[I chose] seven wins now because they just don’t let pitchers go past five or six innings,” Kuiper said. “If they did, I would say he’ll win closer to nine or 10. I’m going with the big, big, big glass of water Sean Hjelle to win at least seven.”

Giants fans, you heard the man. Maybe it’s time to add Hjelle in your fantasy baseball league?

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