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Insider

Returning stars heat up playoff races

With Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back, the NL East race will go down to the final weekend. 

With the trade deadline long passed and the waiver process being complicated, and occasionally inaccessible, due to overzealous rivals, teams must look for alternative avenues of upgrading their roster for the stretch run. Sometimes those improvements come in the way of a farm system producing talent and other times an upgrade is as simple as getting an injured player back. This week in particular is full of the latter for four teams battling for playoff positioning. And in some cases, it's remarkable that these clubs were able to survive without their stars.